Robot Ping Pong At The Next Olympics?
Am I the only one that has noticed that lately machines are beating humans at some of our favorite pass-times? Let’s see, the world’s chess expert is an A.I. and the world’s best Jeopardy player is an IBM super computer named Watson. Supposedly Watson is also good at doing taxes which is our least favorite pass-time.
Just ask H&R Block.
Robot Ping Pong As A New Sport.
So far football ( both U.S. version and the rest of world’s soccer that they call football) has not fallen to a robot team but individual sports like ping pong ( is this a sport?) are being challenged as researchers tackle the challenge to develop a champion robot player.
My background is largely in industrial automation and robotic systems for automotive manufacturing. Over the last two decades, industrial robots, usually larger machines made of steel have replaced workers for repetitive tasks like welding or painting. The latest versions are smaller with higher levels of dexterity and even tactile feedback ( sense of touch ) which makes them perfect for small assembly tasks.
However robots are not just getting smaller and softer, but they also getting a lot smarter. If you call machine learning as a division of artificial intelligence as getting smarter. For manufacturing tasks which tend to be very repetitive a robot does not have to be really smart just able to do things with high accuracy, safety and low cost. For Ping Pong and games of skill A.I. is making the difference.
Meet FORPHEUS developed by Omron for robotic ping pong. This ping-pong robot it said to be able to improve your table tennis skills while having fun at the same time by keeping a rally going.
In addition to the conventional function to control returning the ball according to the trajectory and strength of the player’s ball, the 3rd-generation FORPHEUS is equipped with new amazing technologies where humans and machines grow together by using AI (Artificial Intelligence) technologies.
It can learn about characteristics of the player’s actions and the trajectory of the ball and keep a rally going, which guides a person to make more progress.