Believe It or Not!
Believe it or not, the Ishikawa Oku Laboratory at the University of Tokyo has been able to create a robot that will accurately predict and consistently beat humans at rock, paper, scissors – 100% of the time! Lately, we’ve seen robots take a giant leap in intelligence especially after one of them won Jeopardy, but did they have to beat us at rock, paper, scissors too?
Japanese scientists wrote the following on their latest creation:
“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.”
But…isn’t the robot cheating? Yes, the robot cheats. By watching the image from a camera that can determine the position of your hand every millisecond, it is aware of your move the very moment you make it. And as soon as your hand starts to form that rock, the robot is giving you some paper to wrap it up.
Though rock-paper-scissors-ing is a fun way to show off their technology, the robot is much more than just a toy. It’s an important demo of the mechanics that could allow human beings and their robot friends to communicate with each other, silently but effectively. The machines read our moves, and respond in kind. Pretty darn cool!