Robot hand wins rock, paper, scissors every time
June 27, 2012
A robot hand developed by the University of Tokyo's Ishikawa Oku Lab is reportedly so adept at the game rock, paper, scissors that it is unbeatable against a human opponent.
Strictly speaking that should be robot hand and eye, since, as you might have guessed, it uses a high speed vision system that identifies, within a millisecond, the move being made by the human player from the shape of their hand.
Combined with the clearly very highly responsive actuators in the robot hand and wrist, the robot is able to throw its shape before the human player has finished their move.
Interestingly, this has widely been interpreted as "cheating" on the robot's part by the technology media, but is it, really? No one says human players have to play blindfolded, so really the robot has the same information available to it as does the human. That it can see, process information and respond in the time it takes a human to think of and make a move is hardly its fault.
Ironically, the Ishikawa Oku Lab researchers call this an experiment into "human-machine cooperation." It feels more like a demonstration of machine-human kick-assery, and I, for one, welcome our new rock, paper, scissors overlords.
See video of the robot winning again and again below.