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AI Japan Robotics Games

Robot Dominates Air Hockey, Adapts To Opponents' Playing Style 49

Posted by timothy
from the bet-on-the-robot-kid dept.
colinneagle writes "Researchers at Chiba University in Japan have developed a robot that could frustrate teenagers worldwide with its impressive air hockey skills. What's remarkable about this air hockey-playing robot, which is not the first of its kind, is that it can sense human opponents' playing styles and adapt to defend against them. The key is how the computer controlling the robot views its opponent — at a speed of 500 frames per second. From there, the robot uses a three-layer control system to determine motion control, when it should hit the puck, defend its goal or stay still, and a third that determines how it should react to its opponent's playing style."
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Robot Dominates Air Hockey, Adapts To Opponents' Playing Style

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  • by sidevans (66118) on Saturday June 15, 2013 @03:24AM (#44013695) Homepage

    It's only 41 years late...

    • by ranton (36917)

      I know that people often underestimate how hard it is to program a good AI, but playing air hockey does not seem like a difficult AI problem. Once you are able to track the trajectory of the puck then you should never allow a goal as long as the reaction time is good enough. And with enough power you could hit the puck at the maximum speed that would not cause it to launch, and at angles where a human will have a harder time determining the target than the computer.

      Its a good project for college students to

  • Didn't Sun Tzu figure this out a zillion years ago? If only we could adopt this to more of this issues of life.

  • Robot vs Robot! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hedley (8715) <hedley@pacbell.net> on Saturday June 15, 2013 @03:34AM (#44013715) Journal

    3... 2... 1.. Fight!

  • phht, noobs

  • that's like, brilliant.

    but why the need for a robot to demonstrate this? would be more fun as an online game demonstration. more accessible at least.

  • You just have to hack it.
  • Shufflepuck Cafe [wikipedia.org], anybody?
    • by Dan East (318230)

      Yes, thank you. Playing that game 20+ years ago taught me the futility of playing certain kinds of games against a computer. Eventually I could beat the hardest player (on occasion), but at that point it was very obvious that was only because the computer AI was purposefully imperfect. If I could hit a dozen or more perfect hits then eventually the computer would allow one to score.

      With this robot player the entire difficulty is overcoming whatever physical limitations exist in the hardware. It would have

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        I had enough trouble against a 7MHz Amiga in 1990, so I can only imagine what a modern quad core is capable of.

        Just be glad you didn't play on a mac. The game was just as hard, but the macs didn't actually have any graphics acceleration (unlike the Amiga) so they couldn't actually keep up and you'd get rectangles around the puck and paddles and crap like that. You'd see the same crap in crystal quest.

        What led Apple to make a graphics-only computer with no graphics acceleration is beyond me. What led people to ignore the Amiga in favor of the Mac is even further beyond me — originally, they had similar software

        • 24-bit color QuickDraw accelerated video cards were released for NuBus Macs. The lack of graphics acceleration likely wasn't a problem before that when you only had a 512x384 1-bit video "standard". The Amiga's custom chips couldn't handle 640x480x256 colors worth a damn, that mode on a stock AGA machine is slower then a crappy ISA SVGA card with no acceleration.
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            24-bit color QuickDraw accelerated video cards were released for NuBus Macs.

            I know, because (heh heh) my mom had a Mac IIci with an 8*24 card, but not the really accelerated one, just the slightly accelerated one. Meaning, it would do color quickdraw, but it wouldn't do it very quickly. But an Amiga with a Retina board would spank the Mac every time, and with an Emplant board and some Mac ROMs it would also spank the Mac at being a Mac at a lower total cost. For example, an Amiga 2500 (a 2000 with an accelerator) with an Emplant had the same CPU as a Mac IIci but would consistently

  • The Japanese have solved air hockey. Now I'm waiting for Koreans to create the perfect AI computer to play Starcraft 2. (And I'm not talking about this guy [teamliquid.net].) The AI that comes with the game is inexcusably pathetic.
  • Shawn Thornton kicks its shiny metal ass.

  • Next thing you know, robots will beat us at Foosball! We can't let this happen!
  • but can the robot go on the offensive?
  • In air hockey the puck moves on a two dimensional surface. This makes this game exceptionally easy for robots because they don't need to do complicated three dimensional calculations that would be needed to hit and aim a ball moving in the air. Furthermore, since the puck is hit with a round mallet, it's going to be fairly easy to compute where the puck will go after it's been hit--something that won't work even with a game as simple as foosball, never mind table tennis.

    So this is much less impressive tha

  • One of my favorite Mac games was an air hockey one with various robot opponents.

    This robot, assuming it even can lose, is just a few months of speedup away from being fast enough to block any possible human strike. For offense, they would probably have to speed limit it from hitting 200mph shots and ace every time.

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