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Sneaky Robot Cheats At Rock, Paper, Scissors: VIDEO

Engineers in Japan have built a robot hand that can "beat" any human any time at any game of rock, paper, scissors. How does it do it?

According to New Scientist, the sneaky machine has a high-speed camera that monitors humans' wrist and finger movement to beat us to the punch — or, rather, beat us to the paper.

It seems like a vanity device at the moment, but Sara Reardon reports that this development could help with some robotic sleuthing in the future.

The robot's visual recognition program needs only one millisecond to figure out which shape your hand will take, and choose the one that will beat you.

This kind of high speed vision may have a more practical use than arming robots so they'll always get to bat first at robot baseball. Robots can recognize speech in real time by the forms the human mouth takes, cooperate with humans performing precision tasks that take two, and maybe intervene in an accident before it happens. The janken game is an early example of what Oku's lab calls "meta-perception": the Sherlock Holmes-like ability of machines to pick up information humans would miss.

Watch the robot in action AFTER THE JUMP!

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  1. "The Skynet Funding Bill is passed. The system goes on-line August 4th, 1997. Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug."

    Posted by: Steve | Jun 27, 2012 6:30:02 PM

  2. I can think of another use for that hand...

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Jun 27, 2012 7:00:24 PM

  3. The Japanese robotics industry is smoke and mirrors. During the Fukushima/ earthquake disaster they had to ask for American and European robots to be sent to Japan because they didn't have capable robots.

    Posted by: Bill | Jun 27, 2012 8:39:35 PM

  4. The Japanese robots are just more culturally oriented, suited for entertainment and high level tasks. Why should they be sacrificed to do dirty work in a hazardous environment when an expendable human could do that work? After all, the human will die some day, but with a good oiling every now and then the robots can live forever!

    Posted by: Smarter than you think maybe | Jun 27, 2012 9:07:21 PM

  5. Maybe Geoff Peterson and this robot could date.

    Posted by: Otkon | Jun 27, 2012 9:09:52 PM

  6. Yes, but can it play Rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock?

    Posted by: Eric C | Jun 27, 2012 9:44:13 PM

  7. Next up...

    The robots from "Terminator"


    Posted by: redball | Jun 27, 2012 11:11:49 PM

  8. I knew it was only a matter of time before a Big Bang reference crept in.

    Posted by: sparks | Jun 28, 2012 12:15:38 AM

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