Table Tennis, or ping-pong. No matter how the game is referenced or how seriously it is taken, there is now a robot designed to help players improve their skills. The Kyoto, Japan-based corporation, Omron, first debuted their table tennis robot in 2013. Last week, Omron announced FORPHEUS has officially been named the world’s “First Robot Table Tennis Tutor,” by Guinness World Records.
FORPHEUS plays a simple game, but in order to constantly return the ball the robot has to take into account a multitude of factors within seconds. When a human player hits the ball, the robot begins to calculate its response, calculating up to 80 factors per second. Two cameras help it track the ball’s position and velocity, as well as other factors. Then, using Omron’s proprietary prediction model, it sets itself up to return the shot.