Bow Down to the Rock, Paper, Scissors Master

Rock, Paper, Scissors Robot

This game from our childhood has never really stayed in the past, has it? It is not strange at all to see adults settle matters over a quick round of Rock, Paper, Scissors. For some, it is even a matter of pride to state that they always win.

If you’re that type, you might want to hone your skills, for there is now a new Rock, Paper, Scissors master, albeit a non-human one.

Engineers at the Ishikawa Oku Laboratory have given birth to what they call a janken robot (janken being Japanese for Rock, Paper, Scissors I assume). The cool thing is that this robot is so good that it can beat humans all the time. That’s 100% of the time, yes.

The uncool thing is the robot can beat you all the time.

How does it work? By being “smarter” than us humans, of course. Here’s the engineer’s description. You go decipher it. ((Ishikawa Oku Laboratory))

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In this research we develop a janken (rock-paper-scissors) robot with 100% winning rate as one example of human-machine cooperation systems. Human being plays one of rock, paper and scissors at the timing of one, two, three. According to the timing, the robot hand plays one of three kinds so as to beat the human being.

Recognition of human hand can be performed at 1ms with a high-speed vision, and the position and the shape of the human hand are recognized. The wrist joint angle of the robot hand is controlled based on the position of the human hand. The vision recognizes one of rock, paper and scissors based on the shape of the human hand. After that, the robot hand plays one of rock, paper and scissors so as to beat the human being in 1ms.

This technology is one example that show a possibility of cooperation control within a few miliseconds. And this technology can be applied to motion support of human beings and cooperation work between human beings and robots etc. without time delay.

And for further proof, here is the robot in action.

Now I wonder if they’ll make one for Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock?


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