airhockey robot 508x640Unless you are a seasoned chess grandmaster, playing against powerful computer artificial intelligence will mostly get you beat. Humans might be able to eliminate the number of false and crazy moves, but machines have the added advantage of never tiring out, and this is where this particular Air Hockey robot comes in. Thanks to Japanese researchers over at Chiba University’s Namiki Lab, they have successfully come up with an air-hockey robot which is skillful enough to compete against human players, and win, too.

Needless to say, this is far from the first air-hockey robot ever developed, but this particular team with Professor Akio Namiki at the helm has certainly brought this segment of the robotics world to the next level, where this robot is “smart” enough to change its strategy, depending on how you play against it in the first place. The robot comprises of an air-hockey table, a Barrett four-axis robotic arm, two high-speed cameras, and an external PC. It relies on high-speed tracking to know where the puck is going and to respond accordingly. The robot is is capable of observing the speed and position of the player’s paddle in relation to the puck, before determining whether you are being aggressive or passive in the game, and adjusts itself accordingly. Will see see such artificial intelligence and technology appear in arcades of the future?

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