with a heavy emphasis on the internet of things and artificial intelligence, this year’s CEATEC exhibition in japan showcased the world’s latest innovation in technological advancements. japanese electronics company OMRON showcased its guinness world record-holding ping pong playing robotforpheus — a state-of-the-art technology that embodies the world of ‘harmony’, where machines bring out human ability. 


OMRON’s forpheus 
image © guinness world records

 

 

the name forpheus stands for ‘future OMRON robotics technology for exploring possibility of harmonized aUtomation with sinic theoretics’. a coined term embodying OMRON’s robot technologies based on its unique future prediction theory ‘SINIC theoretics’. it is also a combination of ‘for’ and ‘ORPHEUS’ (a bard in greek mythology as a symbol of human creativity)’, representing OMRON’s attitude of bringing out human creativity and possibility.


the motion controller at the heart of forpheus must be able to make decisions on timing and direction within a thousandth of a second
image © guinness world records

 

 

forpheus uses a three-camera system that identifies the ball and evaluates players. cameras mounted on the left and right of the robot allow it to identify ping-pong balls in a 3D space in an identical way to the human visual system. the ball’s location is detected up to 80 times per second. in addition to the two side cameras, forpheus has a third central camera which is used to evaluate the player and, based on their movements, judge their ability level.

it can calculate the speed and rotation of the ball up to 80 times per second, allowing it to predict the ball’s trajectory with high accuracy
image © omron industrial automation vietnam 
 
 

the high speed robotic arm moves in response to its AI controller and utilizes a repurposed arm from an industrial robot used in product packaging. the arm is controlled by the AI through a 5-axis motor system to swing the paddle at the ball. paddle grip, ball hit location and arm position are all controlled to within 0.1mm. 

two cameras at the upper portion of the machine track the ball’s position and velocity, then uses its trajectory curvature and deceleration to estimate rotational speed, which then uses the magnus efffect

  • “Homo Deus – a brief history of the future” by Yuval Noah Harari comes to life.

    beachcomber says:

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