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Man Sword-Fights Against a Robot Arm



/ 2 years ago

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The Japanese scoff at the idea of banning killer robots, and instead are teaching them to sword-fight. Both robot and human combatants are only using foam swords in the following clip, which shows a robotic arm parrying an attack from a researcher, but it’s only a matter of time before the crazy fools give it a katana:

The robotic arm in the video was developed by the Namiki Laboratory in Japan as part of a research paper entitled “Development of a Sword-Fighting Robot Controlled by High-Speed Vision”.  The researchers sum the paper up thusly:

“In this paper, we propose a sword-fighting robot system controlled by a stereo high-speed vision system as an example of human-robot dynamic interaction systems. The developed robot system recognizes both of the positions of a human player and that of the sword grasped by the robot hand. And it detects the moment when the human starts to move by using ChangeFinder which is a method of detecting the turning points. Next it predicts the possible trajectories of the sword of the human player by a least-squares method from the moment when the attack started. Finally it judges the kinds of the attack and generates an appropriate defensive motion. Experimental results verify the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.”

The results are impressive, with the robotic arm able to sense and react to movement in an instant, and as an intellectual and engineering exercise it’s laudable, but what if the sword were instead a gun? Would we be confident that a robot, sophisticated AI or not, could accurately differentiate between friendly and hostile targets? Are you afraid of the imminent robopocalypse, stocking up on EMP weapons, ready for the day the cyborgs come knocking at your door? Won’t somebody think of the children?

Thank you Popular Science for providing us with this information.


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