Jul 3, 2015

Robots and Games

Rock-paper-scissors is a game that tends to get very frustrating when you lose. Now think about losing to a machine and every time. The rock-paper-scissors robot is called Janken robot and was developed by the Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory in Japan.

As for how the robot is able to beat its human opponent every time, the Janken robot cheats. The main purpose is not that of beating people at rock-paper-scissors. The robot uses visual feedback to respond to the actions of a human hand in a matter of milliseconds. This technology opens the door to potential applications that involve precise cooperation between a human and a robot. The robot can be used remotely as the sensors responsible for recording the signals of a human do not need to be in the immediate vicinity of the machine.

The Janken robot is able to respond so fast to human movements that it can potentially be used to help out in a wide variety of fields. Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory says that the robot can also be programmed to have a delayed response to human actions if needed, which might make it even more useful depending on the situation. Incidentally, they used to play rock, paper, scissors, bacon. They took out bacon because it always won.