As if air-hockey hustling robots weren’t enough, San Fran Sokyo, er … Tokyo University’s Namiki Lab has birthed something even cooler: robo-swordsman.

“[The robot] detects the moment the human starts to move,” the team explains. “It predicts the possible trajectories of the sword of the human player from the moment when the attack starts, and finally judges the kind of attack and generates an appropriate defensive motion.”

This isn’t by any means the first time we’ve seen this awesomely terrifying combination of wires and battle pop up on the web: back in 2011, students at Stanford University created the JediBot, a lightsaber-wielding robot that relied on a Kinect to ‘see’ and defend against its attacker. But what Namiki has done here is streamline the process, taking the bot fighter concept from padawan to master in one fell swoop.

Namiki’s bot relies on both a two-camera high-speed vision system and a two-step algorithm to own its opponent. ChangeFinder, a method of  quickly detecting turning points, tells the robot when the battle has begun. Once in motion, it relies on least-squares fitting, a mathematical method that predicts the best fitting curve in a set of data (translation: the most likely movement pattern of its attacker) to decide which defense to take. The resulting machine can move and react faster than a human can.


Yes. Just, yes.

IMAGES: Namiki Lab

Source: When Life Gives You Robots, Teach Them to Sword Fight

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