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Stanford Students Build "JediBot"

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the may-the-grades-be-with-you dept.

AI 157

An anonymous reader writes "By combining a dexterous robotic arm, a foam-padded lightsaber, the movement tracking capabilities of Microsoft's Kinect sensor, and some clever software, students at Stanford University have created what can only be called a JediBot. Using a series of pre-programmed 'attack moves', and Kinect to detect the location of the enemy's light saber, JediBot can attack and defend with surprising grace. For now its attack moves are fairly slow — it can only attack once every 2 or 3 seconds — but presumably you could tweak a knob (and remove the foam padding) to turn JediBot into a real killing machine." I look forward to model that can also "force choke" an opponent.

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Neat but I'm torn. (0, Troll)

Dr.Bob,DC (2076168) | more than 3 years ago | (#36799960)


That's a very neat thing they've made but I think it would be a good idea for the lab professor to lock down this particular lab at night.

It's not exactly uncommon knowledge that students like to binge drink and play in the labs after hours. Imagine if, in a moment of drunken stupidity, they were to put a real sword on this thing and decide to fight it. Their reaction time would be way off and the robot could seriously injure the student.

Even if the students didn't go to that level of tomfoolery and kept the fake light saber, their reaction times are still slowed and the robot could hit them causing damage. Being drunken students they'd go sleep it off and forget about it the next day but the injuries and micro-misalignments in the spine would have festered.

Presumably being Stanford students means they are from families of means. I only hope that they would go to a professional trained in spinal misalignment issues and not a GP or MD who would be sure to prescribe some pills and send them on their way. That wouldn't address the real issue of the underlying cause. And I won't bother going into the issue of all that infrared radiation spewing from the Kinect sensor.

Take care,
Bob

Re:Neat but I'm torn. (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800170)

Being drunken students they'd go sleep it off and forget about it the next day but the injuries and micro-misalignments in the spine would have festered.

Bah, when I was a student that was just the sign of a good night out.

Re:Neat but I'm torn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800278)

I love how many layers there are in this post. It's like one big extended metaphor of crazy.

Re:Neat but I'm torn. (1)

Matheus (586080) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800382)

Ya... it's inspiring.

After reading this I'm thrown into the moral dilemma between: "Forming a parents group to fight the injustice in the world that would even allow such a creation to exist let alone be exposed to 'The Children'" OR "Breaking into the lab myself to steal the Jedi-Bot and arm it properly." /. poll?

Re:Neat but I'm torn. (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800930)

I loved this one: "And I won't bother going into the issue of all that infrared radiation spewing from the Kinect sensor."

OMG. RADIATION! Oh wait. Infrared radiation is... heat. Plain, simple, heat.

Hey Dr. Bob. You know your lightbulbs? They're putting out RADIATION OMG!

Re:Neat but I'm torn. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800854)

That one? no.

a real industrial one? yes.

I have seen an industrial robot glitch and throw a whole car engine 90 feet and through a wall so fast that I am sure if it was outside the car would have easily went a football field.

Re:Neat but I'm torn. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800962)

Chiropractic is a scam [chirobase.org]
Chiropractic is quackery [squidoo.com]

But most of all, Bob you trolling quack, the main reason everybody mods you into oblivion is that no matter what the damn slashdot topic actually is, you always twist it into an excuse for shilling chiropracty. The topic could be 64-bit firefox, ethernet, Bill Gates and Toilets, it doesn't matter, you twist into another advert for your own snakeoil. You obviously don't care about the actual topic or slashdot; you just want to advertise your ailing business and that's the only reason you're here.

You're a just a spammer, and a spammer of quackery which is the lowest form of spammery.

This is not the place to shill your business, be it car repair, carpentry, origami, or quackery (as in your case). This is not an ad forum. Stick to the damn article topic or GTFO.

Force Lightning (1)

theillien (984847) | more than 3 years ago | (#36799994)

Just add a massive capacitor or tesla coil, maybe?

Re:Force Lightning (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800054)

combine this sweety [wikipedia.org] with a Kinect interface and I want one...

TFS is kind of stupid, so a group of students used a Kinect to control an industry robot. Cool idea, even without the Star-Wars-rhubarb.

Re:Force Lightning (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800104)

This reminds me more of the robotic training devices used in one of the Dune books ("Children of Dune", maybe). Alia trains with one on the highest setting, which was supposed to have been pretty impressive, if I remember right (read it 30 years ago, or so).

Re:Force Lightning (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800188)

This reminds me more of the robotic training devices used in one of the Dune books ("Children of Dune", maybe). Alia trains with one on the highest setting, which was supposed to have been pretty impressive, if I remember right (read it 30 years ago, or so).

And much later on, the Idaho gholas maxed it out on a regular basis too, etc etc

Re:Force Lightning (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800212)

Those training devices appear in almost all the books; but the scene you're thinking of is from Dune Messiah.

Re:Force Lightning (2)

Scottingham (2036128) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800902)

ABOMINATION

Re:Force Lightning (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800756)

Force lightning can be directed. You'd need something that would ionise a path through the air to act as a conduit. This has been done before with lasers. It was originally intended as a stun weapon - like a taser but without the need for wires - but the laser burns tended to do more damage than the electrical arc.

its all fun and games (3, Funny)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800006)

till the bot spazzes out and whops some one ... then its just fun

Re:its all fun and games (2)

heathen_01 (1191043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800606)

Being whopped is the fun, at least trying to avoid being whopped would be. How can you have fun with something that has no chance of hitting you?

Force (1)

jmd_akbar (1777312) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800010)

May the FORCE be with you!! :D

Re:Force (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800032)

May the FORCE be with you!! :D

These aren't the droids you're looking for.

Problem (1)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800012)

But with the blast shield down, I can't even see! How am I supposed to fight?

Re:Problem (1)

Cable (99315) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800184)

Use the XBox Konnect Lukebot!

Re:Problem (1)

WeeLad (588414) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800396)

Look, good against remotes is one thing. Good against the living? That's something else.

Grievous Mistake (5, Funny)

Greg Merchan (64308) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800014)

This seems to me to be a grievous mistake.

Re:Grievous Mistake (2)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800302)

Mistakes, in general, grievous are.

I welcome (1)

angelofdarkness (1906138) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800016)

I welcome our new jedi-bot overlords!

Re:I welcome (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800078)

I welcome our new jedi-bot overlords!

*waves Jedi hand*
These aren't the droids you're looking for.

And then... (1)

landofcleve (1959610) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800024)

Indiana Jones shoots it with a gun that the stupid Jedi can only block if it doesn't slow down the 'story' progression.

Re:And then... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800248)

I can see for the story plot having the Force can make you good enough to stop a bullet or a light pulse. However If I was a general in the empire I would just use explosives, like a grenades. So they can block it but it still explodes in their face. The light saber is a very inefficiency weapon for the modern barbaric times.

Re:And then... (1)

uncanny (954868) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800336)

This was a "long time ago" they didn't have technology like grenades back then, duh!

Re:And then... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800358)

(Jedi peers around corner at dying and maimed imperial minions littering the floor in pools of blood and entrails, then stares at grenade pin still on his index finger ). "how....uncivilized". (throws pin away in disgust)

Re:And then... (1)

jizziknight (976750) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800472)

This reminds me of the scene in X-Men 2 where Magneto pulls all the pins out of the soldiers' grenades while they are are still attached to their vests. I imagine a Jedi would do something similar. Or just use the Force to stop the blast entirely. I would think a Jedi could just stop a grenade from exploding.

Re:And then... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800574)

Or just throw it back.

Re:And then... (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800456)

However If I was a general in the empire I would just use explosives, like a grenades.

Considering how often the troops shoot half a mile in the wrong direction you should also have them have some shooting lessons. I mean, a grenade is powerful, but the troops would be most likely to drop them behind their backs when trying to throw.

Re:And then... (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800910)

I think the troops were only inaccurate in Scriptwriter Approved situations -- when it would ensure they don't hit the good guys. Obi-wan's comments indicated that he felt they were supposed to be accurate shots. Maybe they only staffed the Death Star with the marksmanship rejects?

Re:And then... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800796)

You don't need a grenade, you just need three barrels spaced more than the width of a lightsabre blade apart. A jedi with a single blade can block, at most, two of the shots. One is enough to kill.

NASA Spacecraft Enters Orbit Around Asteroid Vesta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800028)

An unmanned NASA probe made history 117 million miles from Earth on Saturday (July 16) when it arrived at the huge asteroid Vesta, making it the first spacecraft ever to orbit an object in the solar system's asteroid belt.

The Dawn spacecraft entered orbit around Vesta after a four-year chase and will spend about a year studying the huge space rock before moving on to visit another asteroid called Ceres.

Vesta is a huge asteroid about the size of the U.S. state of Arizona, and is also the brightest asteroid in the solar system. It is located in the asteroid belt, a band of rocky objects that encircles the sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

Re:NASA Spacecraft Enters Orbit Around Asteroid Ve (1)

RMingin (985478) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800310)

That's the most informative and non-controversial troll post I've ever seen. Next you'll pretend to be on-topic or something.

do even ultra-cooler spirits reside within us? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800030)

& very possibly throughout the universe? as evidenced by intentional photonic healing, & the highly advanced dna of our current crop of spawn (human infants), who are being killed off all over our globe, even while developing abilities (body, mind & ultra-cool spirit), to match our exponentially increasing need for their assistance.

            meanwhile, back at the raunch; there are exceptions? the unmentionable sociopath weapons peddlers are thriving in these times of worldwide sufferance? the royals? our self appointed murderous neogod rulers? all better than ok, thank..... us. their stipends/egos/disguises are secure, so we'll all be ok/not killed by mistaken changes in the MANufactured 'weather', or being one of the unchosen 'too many' of us, etc...?

            truth telling & disarming are the only mathematically & spiritually correct options. read the teepeeleaks etchings. see you there?

            diaperleaks group worldwide. thanks for your increasing awareness?

Forget the Wooden Dummy (1)

jamiesan (715069) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800052)

I want a Robotic Not-So-Dummy! Give it another arm, and teach it kung fu!

Re:Forget the Wooden Dummy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800136)

Battle Bots 2.0. I'd actually watch that, especially if at least one of them could execute Aikido [youtube.com] .

meh (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800062)

the video was much less cool than the summary made it sounds

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800124)

Yup. That robot was really slow, I wasn't too impressed.

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800290)

Why not build a better one yourself then?

Really? (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800094)

I mean, as a race of bags of mostly water, we're just asking for it.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800758)

I once watched a video of Kuka arms being used to "debung" pigs. When the robots rise up, pray they just use lightsabers.

What language is that? (1)

rafe.kettler (1946264) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800126)

I'm incline to say it's some kind of assembly because of the ALL CAPS and line comments starting with a ;. OTOH, it looks a bit like Perl, but not quite. Anybody know? (freeze frame at 1:51 to see what I'm talking about)

Re:What language is that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800304)

Think it's this: www.reflexxes.net

Re:What language is that? (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800380)

I was thinking Fortran but really am just guessing. The IDE looks unfamiliar to me as well.

Re:What language is that? (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800480)

It's KRC.

Re:What language is that? (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800446)

KUKA Robot Language.

Legal Notice To Stanford University, Inc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800178)

Prior Art?

Prior Patents?

Infringement?

Yours In Moscow,
Kilgore Trout

Laws of Robotics (1)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800192)

Could this robot potentially violate the first and second laws of Robotics?

1 A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2 A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

Re:Laws of Robotics (2)

NervousWreck (1399445) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800208)

If a robot is not sophisticated enough to obey orders that aren't hardcoded, is it in violation of the second law?

Re:Laws of Robotics (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800618)

It's tough to encode high level laws in robots without brains.

Those robots that weld cars together don't exactly worry too much about hurting any humans who are dumb enough to get their smelly contaminated hydrocarbon bits in the way.

Re:Laws of Robotics (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800732)

Robots that weld cars together protect humans by being in cages or being surrounded by laser sensor grids that kill the motion if the beam is interrupted.

Re:Laws of Robotics (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800826)

Why not? Pretty much every robot produced can violate the first law, because no one has created a control system capable of defining what 'harm' means. Even toy robots can move just outside of a baby's reach and make them cry. Most factory robots could probably disassemble a human if one got in the way.

Most of Asimov's robot stories dealt with the fact that 'harm' is difficult to quantify even for highly intelligent beings. For something with a simple control program, it's basically impossible.

Re:Laws of Robotics (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#36801022)

The robot did not appear to be making any attacks, but rather was attempting to match the incoming sword strike at a 90 degree angle. Of course, it would likely not be a far stretch to make it execute counters, too, but at least this robot did not appear to be doing so.

This is only a toy (4, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800206)

As a long time swordfight student and instructor, I have to say that putting a stick in the grip of an industrial robot does not make it a sword fighter.

For example, the obvious mistake seen in the video is that the robot strikes at the *weapon*, not the *person*. As any 1st year fencing student knows, you can't win the fight that way. I love fighting nubies who make that mistake.

We have a term for this - it's called "Erroll Flynn" fighting, and it refers to those cheap movie swordfight scenes where the actors aren't skilled enough to actually fight without putting out their opponent's eye. Stay far enough away so that you can't hit the opponent, and cross swords in mid air. Clack... Clack... Clack... now low: Clack... Clack... Clack... now high...

Let's have a robot that holds a broom and say it's a sweeping robot! Or a robot that holds a hose and say it's a car washing robot! Or a robot that holds a trimmer and say it's a hedge-trimming robot.

Wake me when it can detect an opening in the opponent's defense and strike at it.

Re:This is only a toy (4, Insightful)

gclef (96311) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800224)

In its defence, this is exactly what the movie jedi did also, so calling it a "jedi bot" is an accurate description.

Re:This is only a toy (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800714)

Maybe in the first movies, you know the original Trilogy.

In Phantom Menace Ray Park (Darth Maul) actually wanted all of the moves in the fight scenes to have legitimate targets. As in: I am swinging for his head, he is trying to stop me from hitting his head, etc.

Speaking as a fencer, I had a buddy that tied a string to the floor and ceiling of his garage, he put a tennis ball on the string at chest height and would practice stabbing it for a little while each day. His point control improved, and that was just going for a target.

It wouldn't be that hard to attach a torso to this thing giving it a target to protect and ask it to knock away the opponents blade. It obviously doesn't advance and retreat like a real opponent, but you have to start somewhere.

Re:This is only a toy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800768)

There was one scene in the original trilogy where the fencing coreographer (I think it was Bob Anderson) actually got the actors to fight like a real fight. It's in ESB, it's the scene where Vader's holding the lightsaber one-handed, you'll know it when you see it.

Apparently, Anderson had that scene filmed when Lucas was out for coffee or something. Lucas ends up not seeing the scene until editing and he's furious, but there's no time to re-shoot it so it stays in.

Re:This is only a toy (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800822)

But in a "sword" fight in which you and your opponent both have some ability to see into the future surely swordplay might be a little different - you aren't trying to hit him you are simply getting him to do an action other than than the one that will lead to an inevitable chain of actions and him hitting you 2 minutes later?

Re:This is only a toy (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800876)

In Phantom Menace Ray Park (Darth Maul) actually wanted all of the moves in the fight scenes to have legitimate targets. As in: I am swinging for his head, he is trying to stop me from hitting his head, etc.

In that case, they should shoot the fight choreographer. Watch the film again. There are a huge number of times when someone with a few days of experience behind them would stab the person who just turned their back in a flashy move that exposed most of their body without a guard. It made me cringe watching them. Someone with jedi reflexes should have ended any one of the fight scenes in the first 10 seconds.

In the first films the fights were a lot more realistic, largely because they weren't the central plot element in the relevant scenes. The characters were just waving lightsabres while having an argument. Except in the first fight with Darth Vader, neither party in any of the fights wanted to kill the other, and in that one Obi-wan chose not to defend himself when the fight became serious.

Re:This is only a toy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800328)

I completely agree. The swordfight was modelled by someone that saw too many star wars movies and didn't bother do study the basics of kendo or kenjutsu.

Re:This is only a toy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800436)

"someone that saw too many star wars"

i'm guessing the value of "too many" is defined as anything more than 3.

Re:This is only a toy (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800844)

the fact that the used toy lightsabers didn't give that away?

Re:This is only a toy (4, Insightful)

diewlasing (1126425) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800392)

I'm not sure if you're joking or you really did miss the point of the experiment. Yes, obviously a more realistic robot would try to actually attack the sword. But this isn't the main point. The point is to see if you can actually engineer a robot to respond to different situation appropriately. And they did. I have a have a ladder that goes great with that high horse of yours.

Re:This is only a toy (1)

diewlasing (1126425) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800402)

*attack the body I mean

Re:This is only a toy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800400)

Heh. Those "cheap movie sword fight scenes" were choreographed by Ralph "The Boss" Faulkner. Surprising that you don't know that being a long time swordfight student and instructor.

http://www.sword-play.net/faulkner.htm

Re:This is only a toy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800438)

What? All of them?

Re:This is only a toy (2)

kikito (971480) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800464)

"For example, the obvious mistake seen in the video is that the robot strikes at the *weapon*, not the *person*. As any 1st year fencing student knows, you can't win the fight that way. I love fighting nubies who make that mistake."

Certainly direction and target is the primary parameter to take into account ... for humans. I think that you are missing the very obvious but very important fact that we are talking about machines here. Their raison d'être is to excel precisely where we don't (at least for now). Their constraints and objectives are also different.

Should a match ever happen, on an equal ground, I would be betting on the machine.

Consider what would happen if a robot directed a hit to a stick handed by you ... but without safety measures on. This is, with full machine strength and speed.

Machines can *literally* have the strength of ten men, and far beyond. And they can move faster than our eyes can see.

The swing would not have to be directed to your body. Nor be particularly elegant, or have a great follow-up. With enough speed and force, your stick would be gone from your hand after the first move, and you would probably be suffering severe incapacitating injuries in your arm (or more, if you happened to be behind the stick).

It would not be "human fencing", just like the raw calculative power in a CPU isn't "human intelligence". Each one has its uses.

Re:This is only a toy (1)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800490)

Of course it's a toy. Meant for amusement. For entertainment.

This [youtube.com] and this [youtube.com] are the non-toy versions.

Re:This is only a toy (1)

CraftyJack (1031736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800700)

So...Don't bring a knife to a gunfight?

Re:This is only a toy (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#36801214)

Exactly. Nobody is looking for an actual sword-fighting robot, other than (perhaps) people looking for something to practice against. Not a huge market there, and some might not even want one that fights properly (I can imagine usage in some Disney park attraction where that would be undesirable).

The military (historically the main user of sword-related technology) already has robots for combat that are literally centuries ahead of this sword-bot - they've got UAVs with guided missiles, tank-bots with .30-caliber machine guns, even sentry robots that can independently authorize themselves to open fire with a 40mm grenade launcher. They don't need something that can hit someone with a sword - they have things that can hit someone with high explosives from half a kilometer away.

The point to this was two-fold. One, give a bunch of students something to do. Two, do something "cool". Real swordfights are sometimes quite boring (lot of time just circling and maneuvering), and might also be too fast for it to track (seriously - I can swing a zweihander faster than that robot was swinging a stick, and skilled fencers move at "blink and you'll miss it" speeds). Most importantly, there's no point in making it fight properly - it doesn't help achieve either purpose.

Re:This is only a toy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800524)

I must have missed the part in the article where it says its a sword fighter.

Re:This is only a toy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800540)

Let's have a robot that holds a broom and say it's a sweeping robot! Or a robot that holds a hose and say it's a car washing robot! Or a robot that holds a trimmer and say it's a hedge-trimming robot.

Or a swordfighter that reads (?) a tech article and say he's an idiot!

Uh, sorry for that. But why the hell would a robot arm have to wait for an opening in it's opponents defense? It could cut you in half by sher force, and putting your sword in between would make no difference. And BTW, all those dancing is no match for a good blaster.

Re:This is only a toy (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800558)

1960: As a long time welder, I don't see machines ever being able to weld a car frame together

1990: As a long time doctor I don't see machines ever doing remote surgeries.

Re:This is only a toy (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800918)

There's a difference between those two and fencing: these days, no one actually needs to fight with a sword. People do it for fun, for show, and for exercise. A robot doesn't have to be able to beat a human to be 'better', it has to be a more (or equally) fun opponent. Think about chess computers. No one really cares about things like Deeper Blue, which can beat any human opponent. People care about things like GNU Chess, which can play at a skill level that's fun for someone who enjoys chess to play against.

Re:This is only a toy (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36801082)

Speed this up and give it a repertoire of offensive moves and it could be a hell of a good training aide for fencing.

Re:This is only a toy (1)

CYDVicious (834329) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800604)

It appears you seem to be missing the possibilities of this bot, because they have not revealed the coding for finding an opening.


There are pre-programmed "attacks" that attack a color, in this case it detects the green sword and attacks.
Add enough "attacks" to its library, and code to detect the body(or vital hit points) instead of the sword.
Then carefully add a calculation to determine the speed of the robot attack to make contact with the body/vitals and comparatively calculate the speed of the incoming attack, and select the "attack" from the pre-defined attack array that is fast enough to land before the oncoming attack lands and you have your opening.
A smart bot would be defensive first, blocking all attacks and using that as data to find the average and quickest attacks of the opponent, then refining a usable attack list based on which attacks in memory are faster than those attacks and based on which vitals are targeted.

I can see where this can lead to. Granted at the pace the "arm" was moving at, not a real threat unless its an endurance contest, but assuming the hardware arm is upgraded or can sustain highspeed maneuvers on par with being able to detect the exit point from a gun barrel and deflect bullets and we're getting somewhere ;)

~CYD

Re:This is only a toy (1)

BlackHawk (15529) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800740)

"Wake me when it can detect an opening in the opponent's defense and strike at it." Do you say this to your beginning students? The fact that this robot has the ability to track its opponent's sword, and using its programming, place its own sword in the "best" (in the minds of the programmers, who are clearly not swordsmen, as you and I are) position for anticipatory defense is a milestone. Give it time; it will be a relatively short step to add heuristic algorithms to this, and then the machine will simply learn what works and what doesn't. After, of course, a decent programmer works with a decent swordsman to give the robot access to the techniques of I.33, Talhoffer, Durer, Agrippa, and personally, I'd hope Donald McBane.

Re:This is only a toy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800748)

I love fighting nubies who make that mistake.

Instructors are supposed to be there to help "nubies" learn, not to pwn them and lol.

Wake me when it can detect an opening in the opponent's defense and strike at it.

Do you go to car shows and bitch at the Ford booth that you don't have a hover-car yet? The average person could be forgiven for being ignorant of how long innovation actually takes, but if you're going to show up on /. to bitch about it, you might want to keep your mouth shut about your status as a swordsmanship instructor; a weapon that was made obsolete by technology over 6 centuries ago; or did you not get the memo about firearms?

Re:This is only a toy (3, Interesting)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800762)

Wake me when it can detect an opening in the opponent's defense and strike at it.

I suggest you don't bother reading slashdot. If a technology has to be at that level beefore you want to even hear about it then maybe you should get your tech news from the History Chanel?

Re:This is only a toy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800846)

Computing the nominal center of the human would not be a big stretch. The problem is you don't really want too many foot-pounds of industrial strength robot force aimed at a real human, at least not a human you care about.

Re:This is only a toy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36801060)

As a long time swordfight student and instructor, I have to say...

Hey Erroll Flynn; the point wasn't to make an effective killing machine, they're already working on those in other parts of the complex, much more effective ones than this. Go back to your dojo, castle, whatever.

Jedi Church (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800244)

But can the JediBot join the jedi church? Or is its flashy orange garment considered too sinful?

Fake (2)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800384)

Obviously fake there were women in the class.

Re:Fake (1)

hellkyng (1920978) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800848)

This is not the troll you are looking for *waves hand*

Re:Fake (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 3 years ago | (#36801220)

Touché!!

What's this dog collar in the box? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800406)

I'm sure the retail version will include a WiFi dog collar to "force choke" the player. Friends of David Carradine will find an alternate use.

Basic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800424)

Towards the end of the video you can see that they programmed in Basic. "No. No. That's not true. That's impossible! Noooooooo!"

Force choke? (1)

jcoy42 (412359) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800432)

Is that what we're calling it these days?

Yeah, to be honest, I look forward to a robot that can "force choke" it's "opponent" too.

Re:Force choke? (1)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800522)

Is that what we're calling it these days?

Yeah, to be honest, I look forward to a robot that can "force choke" it's "opponent" too.

Actually, they have those already:

"Wolowitz Penis problems with robotic hand Big Bang Theory" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWwikNgKvQE [youtube.com]

awww (1)

Cockatrice_hunter (1777856) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800518)

I thought this would be something like that floating ball thingy that you're supposed to hit. Something based on the recent japanese flying orb thingy.

Easier to fight (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800544)

They will really have something when they can program a robot to be your dance partner.

Really, /.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800610)

After all the Adobe Flash bashing on /., you'd think they wouldn't publish an article on the frontpage with a flash object in it.

Sheesh.

Re:Really, /.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800874)

What flash object?

*checks my ABP list of blocked items*

Oh, that flash object.

General Grievous (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800738)

When will he appear?

Half impressed (2)

Tomahawk (1343) | more than 3 years ago | (#36800818)

In 'attack mode', it's following a set of pre-determined attack moved. Not even randomly determined. Boring.

But in 'defence mode', it's impressive, tracking the opponents sword and moving to block it. Very nice. Would be cool if it could move faster... but that's just a factor of time - next year's version will be twice as fast, and the year after twice as fast again...

Don't be too proud of this technological terror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36800994)

You've constructed. The ability to wiffle-bat an opponent is insignificant next to the power of the Force.

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