Play the famous Rock-Paper-Scissors duel with a robot, and the robot will win every time. At least, this robot will: Researchers at the University of Tokyo’s Ishikawa Oku Laboratory have developed a small “Janken” robot which follows its human opponent with a small camera, and on the count of “3″ produces the winning hand signal. Technically, it’s cheating, but faster than the rest of us would be able to: the speed at which the robot recognizes the human’s signal and beats it is less than a millisecond. So, while this particular robot can’t yet predict the behavior of its human counterpart, maybe it’s time we start preparing to lose. Often.
The applications could be numerous: as the the researchers say, “this technology can be applied to motion support of human beings and cooperation work between human beings and robots etc. without time delay.” Then again, isn’t “cooperation” exactly the word that our robot overlords would want us to use? Judge for yourself: