We Definitely Shouldn't Have Taught Robots How to Sword Fight

By Andrew Liszewski on at

Japan’s Namiki Laboratory is known for its robotic arms and high-speed vision systems that can move and react faster than a human being can. That’s the neat part. The scary part is that for some reason the researchers there have decided that teaching their creations to effectively fight with swords was a good idea. Have we not learned from those Terminator movies how this will end?

Using a pair of high-speed cameras working to give the arm stereo vision, the robot is able to recognise the position and movements of a human opponent, as well as its own sword. Once the human starts to attack the robot uses custom algorithms to calculate the possible trajectories of its opponent’s sword and then plots an effective defensive motion to protect itself using its own weapon.

And as you can see in the video, even in the lab the arm is very, very skilled at fending off human attackers. Which means that one day our robot usurpers won’t even need guns to wipe us out. Great. [Namiki Laboratory via IEEE Spectrum]