Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This Japanese robot will roshambo you back to the stone age

When it comes to robotics, Japan is rightfully regarded as the home of the world's most ambitious innovators. Whether they are creating robots to handle the smalltalk at your wedding or ones that perfectly mmic the human singing voice (in the creepiest way possible), the roboticists in Japan are forever pushing the boundaries of what robots can accomplish.

Researchers at the University of Tokyo are looking to continue this tradition of excellence with the publication of a new research model "Janken (rock-paper-scissors) robot with 100% winning rate (human-machine cooperation system)".

To put it plainly, they have created a robot that will always win in rock-paper-scissors, provided that its opponent is a human being.

Sure, the University of Tokyo's robot is real... but the one at the top of this post is way cuter.

Before allegations of mind-reading robots start spreading, it should be noted that the rock-paper-scissor robot's purported 100% success rate exists because it cheats. The robot relies on watching its opponent's hand with a high-speed camera and reacting to the chosen gesture within one millisecond by throwing the corresponding, winning gesture.

These sorts of hand-watching shenanigans are frowned upon by little brothers and rock-paper-scissors enthusiasts (yes, they exist!) the world over, but you can't argue with their efficacy.

The good news for the University of Tokyo's team is that if their robot somehow loses against an opponent in rock-paper-scissors, they can just through a latex skin coating over its hand and put it on Jlist's Adult Corner. It does have a rather suggestive way of preparing for its roshambo throw...

Jokes about robotic handjobs aside, all this talk about Japanese robots and rock-paper-scissors makes me sorely tempted to play through Final Fantasy VIII again just to watch the Brothers summon in action.

Or, like the robot above, I could just cheat and go to YouTube...

Oh internet, I love you.