OMRON's updated ping pong robot can serve and take smashes

And it's probably not too late to apply for the 2020 Olympics.

940 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

    Sponsored Links

    It's CEATEC, so I knew OMRON would once again bring out its massive table tennis robot to belittle us humans, but what I didn't expect was a significant performance jump this time. FORPHEUS, now at its fourth generation, features improved AI to boost its responsiveness -- so much that it can now predict and attempt to deal with smashes. Compared to the earlier versions which went easy on me, I found this one to be far more enjoyable with faster rallies. Better yet, there's now a companion robot arm that throws a ball up and lets FORPHEUS serve, thus making the robot a more realistic trainer or opponent.

    Gallery: OMRON FORPHEUS table tennis robot at CEATEC 2017 | 8 Photos

    The rest of the robot is apparently the same as before. You still get a display on both sides of the "net" for showing the player's status (not that the robot needs to see it). There is a three-camera system facing the human player in the main body, and the bat below it is driven by three arms plus a 5-axis motor. These are all powered by a massive motion controller computer sat behind the stage.

    While OMRON doesn't actually offer FORPHEUS as a product, the robot's aim is to help show off the company's mechanical and automation prowess to potential industrial clients. Still, I hope FORPHEUS will get to make a cameo appearance at Japan's 2020 Olympics, because at this rate, it'll likely be able to sustain some interesting games against top athletes.

    Source: OMRON
    Coverage: Phys.org
    All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

    Richard's love for gadgets was probably triggered by an electric shock at the age of five while poking his finger into power sockets for no reason. He managed to destroy a few more desktops and phones until he was sent to England for school. Somehow he ended up in London, where he had the golden opportunity to buy a then senior editor a pint of lager, and here we are.

    940 Shares
    Share
    Tweet
    Share
    Save
    Comments

    From around the web

    Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr