Discrete and Process Automation

Watch: Machines Enhance Human Capabilities Through Table Tennis

10 January 2018

Last month, we told you about Omron Corporation, a global technology company scheduled to be a first-time exhibitor at this year's edition of the CES 2018. IEEE GlobalSpec writer Pete Brown got the chance to visit Omron's booth, where he shot some video of Forpheus, the company's robot table tennis tutor.

Forpheus is not a consumer robot prototype — but an illustration of Omron's vision of machines helping to enhance human capabilities.

The robot integrates a three-camera system to identify the ball and evaluate players, a high-speed robotic arm that moves in response to its AI controller and a motion controller “brain” that tells it how to hit the ball and judge the skill level of its opponents. Newer features on display at CES include the ability to toss, serve and predict a "smash" based on opponent movements and the ability to produce sounds appropriate to the state of the match. Forpheus is not intent on beating its human opponents, but rather on coaching and encouragement.

For those attending CES 2018 this week, Omron is located at booth #25541 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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