Researchers at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou recently unveiled two robots that can play a decent game of ping-pong with both backhand and forehand capabilities. Taking four years to develop, the twin robots’ eye-mounted cameras capture stills at 120 images per second, which allows processors to then calculate a whacked ball’s position, speed, angle, landing spot and trajectory.
Though they can’t put nuanced spins on the ball, the 160cm and 55kg “Wu” and “Kong” certainly look to have a pretty good programmed-algorithim feel for the game, and also perhaps a certain blank-faced All Is Full Of Love-type charm.
Which is nice and all, but it isn’t really convincing enough for us to hail to our new robot masters quite yet. However, if the day comes when they incorporate nun-chucks into their game, then it’ll likely be curtains for humanity’s long reign of ping-pong dominance.