Meet the Robot that will always win at Rock, Paper, Scissors

We’re passionate about keeping up to date with the latest, most innovative technology around. We were intrigued to hear about the Japanese robot that will always win rock-paper-scissors against a human, due to a 1 millisecond advantage.

Developed by researchers at The University of Tokyo at the Ishikawa Oku Laboratory, this incredible Japanese “Janken”, or rock-paper-scissors robot wins the game by carefully analyzing the shape of the human hand in a fraction of a second. The lab works on the basis of SAILING: Smart Architecture and Integration Lead Intelligence to the Next Generation. It specializes in the study and development of Sensor Fusion, Dynamic Image Control, Vision Architecture and Meta Perception.  This clever little robot is an improved version of the original predictive robot of last year which took 20 milliseconds to react as opposed to 1 millisecond.

How does it work?

The robot is able to predict the shape that the human hand is about to make using intelligent, high-speed video systems which tell the machine the shape it needs to produce in order to win. The robot features a built-in auto pan-tilt camera which according to Jason Falconer of Gizmag is “fast enough to keep a rapidly bouncing ball perfectly still in the centre of the video frame, which was the key to tracking the hand position and fingers faster than ever before.” This robot is therefore able to recognize hand movements earlier than humans, but appears to make its shape at exactly the same time as its opponent.The angle of the human wrist joint differs between the three moves of the game significantly enough for the robot to be able to predict, in a millisecond, which move the human hand is about to make. The human eye is too slow to make these kinds of predictions. The robot’s predictive technique is built on our natural aim to both manipulate and predict our opponent’s next move so that we can win. The robot is essentially 100 times quicker than the human eye.

What does the future hold?

There’s no doubt that this remarkable robot can be used for more than just fun and games. We think that this intelligent technology could help us to observe and learn more about what we previously were unable to see with the human eye. What do you think this remarkable robot’s capable of?