- Ping Pong Robot
- First first
- Japan ()
In October 2015, Japan’s Omron Corporation introduced its robotic table tennis tutor. Sensors above the table tennis table monitor the position of the ball 80 times per second, enabling the robot to show via a projected image where it will return the ball off its bat and even where it will bounce to. The aim is to help teach the game to human players,with the robot's software capable of assessing all aspects of the ball's motion when bouncing off the table and through the air. Developing the control algorithm required for the robot to position the bat and return the ball took many hours of effort: with timing precision down to one thousandth of a second, the robot is programmed to make an effort to return the ball by extending its arm even in response to a badly played ball by its human pupil that would be impossible to play.
Sportsmanship in the robot programming is an important aspect for the Japanese development team.