DailyDirt: I, For One, Welcome Ping Pong Robots
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Not too long ago, Kuka filmed an ad hinting that their industrial robot arm was fast enough and had software that enabled it to play ping pong with professional table tennis player, Timo Boll. However, that match was pretty disappointing because it never really showed the robot arm returning a tournament-level serve from Boll (or even returning any kind of shot that wasn’t highly edited to make it look more dramatic). Here are a few ping pong playing robots in reality — and they are not yet ready to compete with humans.
- Japanese electronics maker Omron demonstrated a ping pong robot at the 2014 Ceatec tech expo, and its 600+kg bot can play nicely with a human for over 100 volleys. This robot isn’t exactly going to beat anyone at a game, but it has reflexes in the sub-millisecond range, and presumably, software/hardware upgrades could make it more intimidating. [url]
- German researchers trained a robot to play ping pong, and it can return some gentle shots and keep its returns on the table (for the most part). Katharina Muelling and her colleagues were learning about how to teach robots physical skills by imitation, so maybe if they’d used a professional table tennis player to train their robot…. [url]
- Chinese humanoid robots have played ping pong against each other in a rally lasting 176 strokes. It’s not the most exciting game, but these bots can do both a forehand and backhand stroke — and play against humans, too. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.