Mar 26, 2010

Science Scene - Ping Pong Terminator

Meet TOPIO 3.0, the ping-pong-playing robot. Made by Vietnam's first-ever robotics firm, TOSY, the bipedal humanoid uses two 200-fps cameras to detect the ball as it leaves the opponent's paddle.

TOPIO's brain-processors and an artificial neural network-analyzes the ball's path to choose the best return. Last fall, TOPIO 3.0 debuted at the International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo.

At six feet tall, 264 pounds and with 39 independent points capable of movement (such as rotation) throughout its body, the chiseled robot appears a formidable adversary, but it hasn't beaten a human quite yet. Ho Vinh Hoang, TOSY's president, hopes that a newer version of TOPIO, which will have a more flexible arm and be able to learn on the fly, will win a match in the near future, possibly at Automatica, an automation trade show, to be held this June in Munich.


  1. Does this mean that we are at the dawn of the rise of the machines?

  2. Will they all look like Mr. Freeze?

  3. First ping-pong, then the world!!!!!!

  4. do you think he could beat Forest Gump?

  5. One could predict an international robotic diplomacy at the ping pong table, the chess board, the boxing ring, the battle field, inter galactic robots demanding supremecy of the skies and outer space while we watch on our robotically programmed tv. What fun!


  6. Interesting. I'm not sure how I feel about this research, but I suppose ping pong is as good a game as any to teach a machine that needs to learn.


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