OMRON's forpheus ping pong playing robot uses artificial intelligence

OMRON's forpheus ping pong playing robot uses artificial intelligence

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:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

technology news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
493,010 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample