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This table tennis robot now has artificial intelligence smarts

Forpheus, the mighty table tennis robot developed by Japan’s Omron, is getting smarter. An updated version on show at the Ceatec electronics show this week has artificial intelligence to become a tougher opponent.

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Omron’s table tennis robot is getting smarter

Forpheus, the mighty table tennis robot developed by Japan’s Omron, is getting smarter. An updated version on show at the Ceatec electronics show this week has artificial intelligence to become a tougher opponent.

In the new version, the robot attempts to rank a player according to their perceived skill as a beginner, intermediate player or advanced. It does this by looking at the speed of the served ball, its trajectory, rotation and the body motion of the player with cameras, and does so with 90 percent accuracy, according to Omron.

The machine uses that information to customize its return ball, softer and easy for beginners, faster and more unpredictable for advanced players.

The use of artificial intelligence has also improved the robot's game. Its returns are now accurate to within 5 centimeters -- twice as accurate as the previous model.

Omron isn’t selling the robot. It was developed to demonstrate some of what’s possible with the company’s sensors and robotics equipment and wherever it goes, it always draws a crowd.