Industrial Electronics

Ping-pong playing robot returns for CES 2020

20 December 2019
The sixth generation of the Forpheus robot will play ping-pong again with CES attendees. Source: Omron

For the last two years at CES, Omron Corp. demonstrated a robot called Forpheus that equipped with sensors and artificial intelligence played ping pong with users at the show.

The robot is returning to CES 2020, taking place in Las Vegas on Jan. 7-10, for another round of table tennis with convention goers this time with expanded capabilities as a ping-pong coach and enabler of human player skills.

While the practical use of a ping-pong playing/teaching robot is not something that could be commercially viable, Omron said it uses the robot as an example of how markets such as manufacturing can benefit from robotics when combined with artificial intelligence.

The Forpheus robot demonstrated at CES 2020 will be the sixth generation of the robot. It is trained to react in real time to the emotion and behavior of its human partner and adjust the ball speed of returns to the player’s motivation and ability. The better a player is, the more the robot adjusts the rallies.

New features of the Forpheus include advances in camera frame rate, six-axis arm movement for new returns, improved algorithms for projecting trajectory and more advanced AI.

"OMRON believes in a future in which humans and machines work in harmony and where technology helps solve society's problems," said Nigel Blakeway, managing executive officer of Omron. "Visitors to the OMRON booth will experience first-hand how they might encounter and benefit from our technologies in manufacturing, in society and in their personal lives."

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