Robot ruins rock, paper, scissors forever

The robot is kind of a cheater, though.

Perhaps in an effort to create a robot that would win every battle for the last slice of pizza or the front seat of a car on a long road trip, University of Tokyo scientists have built a robot that cannot lose to a human at rock, paper, scissors.

In one of the most diabolical scientific developments in recent history, the researchers were able to develop a method by which the device recognizes the shape the hand will take in milliseconds, and then reacts immediately. It's basically like tipping your pitches in baseball, only done to a significantly faster degree. In a statement, the researchers explained:

"Recognition of a human hand can be performed at 1ms with a high-speed vision, and the position and the shape of the human hand are recognised.

The wrist joint angle of the robot hand is controlled based on the position of the human hand. The vision recognises 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."

It's not until the video is slowed down by 50 times of its original speed that you see the robot's move does in fact come after the human hand shows its choice of rock, paper, or scissors. But, as the video below shows, it's nearly impossible to tell the difference in real-time competition.

According to the International Business Times, the larger purpose of the project is to develop a robot that can interact with humans, specifically at times when they need to in a matter of split seconds. The IB Times cites the handling of volatile chemicals as an example.

Fair enough excuse for the robot to cheat, I guess.

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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