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Ping Pong Robot Analyzes Own Game

This new ping pong robot is able to analyze its human opponents, constantly improving its game. Created by Professor Kidode at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology, this prototype robot can return the ball at a rate about 20% better than novice humans. But it is getting better!

According to the Nara Institute, the purpose of the ping pong playing is to create better industrial robots. Yeah, right. When you make a ping pong-playing robot, why not admit that you are developing sports robotics?


(Ping pong robot under development)

The first reference I can find to the idea of robots playing at sports is in Frederik Pohl's wonderful 1954 story The Midas Plague. In the story, human beings are exhausted by the requirement that they consume as much as possible, thereby enabling greater economic expansion. Helpful household robots take on the task of wearing out consumer goods, like golf clubs and accessories.

There was the butler robot, hard at work, his copper face expressionless. Dressed in Morey's own sports knickers and golfing shoes, the robot solemnly hit a ball against the wall, picked it up and teed it, hit it again, over and again, with Morey's own clubs.
(Read more about Pohl's consumption robots)

From CrunchGear.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/14/2010)

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