From the Series
Janken, a robot that never loses rock-paper-scissors, was created by a group of students at the University of Tokyo’s Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory. The robot, originally designed in 2013, is in its third iteration and has still never lost a single round of rock-paper-scissors.
The robot competes against a human opponent who counts to three before choosing between rock, paper or scissors.
The latest version is even better at playing the game than its older counterparts. The robot uses high-speed cameras with an extended field of view for vision and a fast robot hand to come out victorious every round.
The high-speed gear allows the robot to choose its winning pick in approximately 20 milliseconds — as compared to 60 milliseconds for a human.
The high-speed camera vision lets Janken track a human hand along its entire path of movement, which improves the coordination between the vision of the hand and the choice between rock, paper or scissors that Janken plays.
The students at the Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory hope to further improve the coordination of the robot and human, so the technology can be used in applications that require this kind of precise interaction.