Robotic Rock-paper-scissors Never Lets You Win

So robots kick our butts at tic-tac-toe, chess, Jeopardy, and now they’re the dominant species at rock-paper-scissors too. This robot arm will outmatch your at the game every single time. It’s not just fast enough to keep up, but it figures out what you’re planning to do and reacts according. All of this happens way to fast for you to catch it in the act.

Researchers at the University of Tokyo came up with the idea of combining high-speed vision with a high-speed hand. Apparently one millisecond is all it takes to analyze what move you’ve chosen. The time it takes for the hand to form the conquering position is only marginally longer than that. As you can see in the clip after the break, it already knows the protocol of 1-2-3 shoot and doesn’t need any operator intervention to start a new game, or repeatedly school you on trying to compete with a machine.

We’ve been beaten at the game by a machine before. This is just first time that the human player doesn’t need to wear special equipment and the machine has moved from a virtual hand to a physical one.

[via Reddit]

12 thoughts on “Robotic Rock-paper-scissors Never Lets You Win

  1. I’m with bluewraith. It is a rather clever example of the technology involved but does not play by the rules. It obviously doesn’t commit to which hand it is going to play before you do, so of course it will win. Perhaps a more suitable challenge would be to have different competitors pit their own robots against each other.

  2. I can think of a way to foil it.

    As you’re moving your hand downward, start to make a scissor gesture, then quickly change it to paper as you complete the move.

    Or start to make paper, then switch to rock.

  3. I’m already making the same thing…
    When I play this game I stare the hand of my opponent, and starting to make the rock…
    Depending on what I “guess” about my opponent choice I will leave my hand as is (rock), or I will starting to unfold two fingers (scissor) or the four (papper)…
    But I concede that I do not win 100% of the time since the loop feedback from my eyes to my hands through my brain do not take “only” 1 ms…
    Maybe one day…

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