Table tennis is not a game for those who are slow in reflexes, and to see how robots are actually able to hold a game is rather interesting. Chinese scientists (who else would we expect, considering they top the game at most of the major sporting events) have managed to churn out humanoid robots who are able to play table tennis. These robots have been specially programmed to serve, return and score, although I don’t think they will ever be able to match up to humans at the moment – or anytime soon in the future.
These robots debuted on Sunday at east China’s Zhejiang University, where they indulged in games of table tennis with each other – as well as other human players. Named “Wu” and “Kong”, they stand at 1.6 meters tall and tip the scales at 55kg each. Interestingly enough, Sun Wukong is also the Monkey God in case you are interested in some Chinese legends.
Eye-mounted cameras will track where the ball is going so that the robots are able to predict the correct movement in order to respond accordingly. Response time stands at anywhere from 50 to 100 milliseconds.