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Robot Catches High Speed Objects

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the voom dept.

Robotics 273

shpoffo writes "Engineers at the University of Tokyo in Japan have created a robot that can catch a ball moving faster than 186 miles per hour (300 kph) - more than 270 feet per second. It uses an array of photodetectors to directly control the three finger actuators - which can rotate 180 degrees in 0.1 seconds. It's only catching softballs at the moment, but operators are optimistic for it to soon catch other objects and grasp moving things. A video with odd sci-fi TV-series (coral cache) accents is available."

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273 comments

Oh dear.... (1, Funny)

Dubpal (860472) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268087)

I for one welcome our new Joe DiMaggio-bot overlords. (I am so very sorry.)

Re:Oh dear.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13268396)

In Soviet Russia, bot overlords welcome (and catch) you!

yeah but.... (5, Funny)

Spoukie (775267) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268088)

can it catch a fly with chopsticks?

High speed moving objects?! (2, Funny)

mynickwastaken (690966) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268095)

Next milestone: - Catch high speed eggs.

Re:High speed moving objects?! (2, Funny)

beef3k (551086) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268164)

What do you mean? A hard boiled or a raw egg?

Huh? I-- I don't know that! Auuuuuuuugh!

Re:High speed moving objects?! (1)

mynickwastaken (690966) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268185)

Of course that would be a raw egg... That robot, need to be fast and smoth. Somebody remembers the scene from the 1st "Alien", The Movie?!

Re:High speed moving objects?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13268382)

Look at the damage that crappy sequels do to great films - "the 1st "Alien", The Movie" or "Alien" as it should rightly be known.

Re:High speed moving objects?! (2, Interesting)

The Grassy Knoll (112931) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268252)

Well to catch, say, a cricket ball, you need a certain amount of "give" when you make contact, otherwise it just bounces off your hand and out, and you've dropped it. Presumably, you just need to up the amount of "give" to catch something fragile?

I don't know how hard a softball (sic) is, but a cricket ball is solid cork wrapped in leather. And I have the bruises this morning to prove it, after playing at the weekend...

.

Re:High speed moving objects?! (2, Interesting)

mynickwastaken (690966) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268343)

The robot hand should move very quick in the same direction where the egg goes, reach the speed of the egg and decelerate in the same way how the egg decelerate. When the speed is the same and the egg it's enogh close to the robot hand, the fingers need to close gently. That would be challenging.

This device would help a lot Bush's bodyguards on a next G8 meeting.

Sure, if it's thrown straight at it (3, Interesting)

paran0rmal (799476) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268100)

I can't tell from the article and can't see the video (stupid firewall), but looking at the pictures it appears that the design only allows it to catch if the object is thrown straight at it, since it's just a hand. What would really be cool is if it was attached to a robotic arm that will move the hand to the right position to catch the ball.

Re:Sure, if it's thrown straight at it (1, Funny)

MBAFK (769131) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268118)

The hand is fixed in place so yes for this prototype you have to 'throw' the ball close enough to the hand for it to catch it with it's fingers.I believe they want to use it as a demo of the speed and accuracy of the technology, it is quite impressive.

We already have bowling robots, now we have a catching hand, just need to build the 'battathon 2000' and England may have a chance in the next test :)

Re:Sure, if it's thrown straight at it (-1, Offtopic)

WillerZ (814133) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268139)

Since it's 1-1 in the series and McGrath is still out injured I think we'll do fine anyway. Perhaps the aussies should fit these to their bowlers' ankles to remove any stray balls before they stand on them?

Phil

Re:Sure, if it's thrown straight at it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13268147)

Please. One of the two best bowlers out of the side on the morning of the test, Australia cannot bat any worse, England cannot play any better and you were still only one shot away from losing. The chance of England winning the next test is slim to none.

Re:Sure, if it's thrown straight at it (3, Insightful)

Morkano (786068) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268469)

I can't tell from the article and can't see the video (stupid firewall), but looking at the pictures it appears that the design only allows it to catch if the object is thrown straight at it, since it's just a hand. What would really be cool is if it was attached to a robotic arm that will move the hand to the right position to catch the ball.
All in good time. Having the arm without a hand capable of catching it once it's in position wouldn't be very helpful. One step at a time.

If only... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13268101)

If only linux were this fast!

Hahaha I made a linux joke I oughtta write for userfriendly.

Just for once? (1, Funny)

rock_climbing_guy (630276) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268102)

Is it appropriate now, for me to post a "robotic overlord" post?

I for one, welcome our new robotic overlords.

Re:Just for once? (1)

oku (609226) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268273)

Is it appropriate now, for me to post a "robotic overlord" post?

You will get caught, mind you.

The robot is all thumbs. (4, Interesting)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268103)

No, seriously, all three digits are opposable.

It would be even nicer if it had an arm to intercept balls that weren't thrown precisely to it though.

Re:The robot is all thumbs. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13268195)

Wouldn't exactly be 'digits' if it has only 3 fingers.

Re:The robot is all thumbs. (2, Insightful)

Illserve (56215) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268197)

In theory the problem is no more difficult, just a bit more complicated in that now you need to do an arm. But once you've got motors that can react at this speed, the arm shouldn't be out of reach.

Having an arm and ability to learn (1, Funny)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268254)

That will become really fun if it suddenly learns to throw the ball back at you at the same speed, just when you switched from a soft ball to a baseball (-:

Victorian catcher! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13268255)

"It's an extremely difficult task as the ball is moving so fast," says Ulrich Nehmzow, an expert in mobile robotics at the University of Essex, UK.

Looking at the picture... wouldnt it have been alot simplier to do this purly mechanically.

I.e. have the strap (palm) joining the fingers pull them together when the ball hits it? It would be alot lighter too!

Photosensors, bah :)

Entertainment (4, Funny)

DaSwing (902297) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268105)

Add a ball-throwing mechanism and you can watch two robots playing with eachother. If we are very lucky, humans won't have to have fun at all, we have robots for that.

Re:Entertainment (1)

obender (546976) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268260)

Add a ball-throwing mechanism and you can watch two robots playing with eachother. If we are very lucky, humans won't have to have fun at all, we have robots for that.

This has been discussed here years before. You can only reach full automation when robots are watching robots play.

Bye bye legs (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268272)

It will rid us of the last hurdle to just give up our legs and kill a certain scholarship system which promotes sports as an alternative to learning.

Finally being a couch potato will be the ultimate norm. Scream to your kids: Put the robots outside and do not temper with their accuracy this time, it already cost us a window this week!

catching objects... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13268107)

I can also catch objects, with my body; hurts like hell though. Who needs hands?

My Son! (1)

sn0wflake (592745) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268112)

Now I have somebody to play catch with :)

Fast controled motion robotic (3, Interesting)

La Gris (531858) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268165)

The most interresting part here is, this robot fingers can rotate and stay in precise contrôl very fast.

As mentioned, there is no arm and the area for interception is very tight. Building an arm mounted interceptor may raise serious problems with inertia though.

Time to think of a robotized pickpocket.

Is the US lagging behind Japan? (4, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268130)

I know the Japanese Robotic Mall Security guard was being made fun of here at /. but this is really cool - though it would be a nice step to see that hand attached to an arm attached to a humanoid robot who would actually have to go for the ball and not just have it thrown at it.

But all the Robotic news seems to be coming out of Japan lately, is anything being done in the US that compares?

Note: Not asking because I think the US should be in the lead but that it should compete for the benefit of all, definitely the US had the first industrial robot back in 1962 AFAIK:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_robot [wikipedia.org]

And it's rather sad to think we're lagging in this on the R/D side in new frontiers. Unless this should be the extent of it:

http://robots.engadget.com/entry/0657766019921755/ [engadget.com]

Re:Is the US lagging behind Japan? (2, Informative)

savuporo (658486) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268154)

Actually, robot revolution is also happening in China and Korea as well, but there's indeed very little in a way of practical accomplishments coming from west.

http://plyojump.com/ [plyojump.com] has some in-depth info and couple good essays [plyojump.com] on these topics and why exactly this is happening. The core problem seems to lie in deeply rooted cultural issues

Also check out Marshall Brain's ( the howstuffworks.com guy ) http://roboticnation.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] blog

Re:Is the US lagging behind Japan? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13268242)

Lagging behind Japan? When were we ahead of them? Japan rocks!!

In late 1945 (1, Funny)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268284)

The Japanese industrial heartlands had a few difficulies around then. In particular Hiroshima and Nagasaki had infrastructure difficulties.

Re:Is the US lagging behind Japan? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13268181)

Don't worry, the military is keeping up, but we can't just tell everyone -- the turrrreeerrrriiissssttssss may find out!

Re:Is the US lagging behind Japan? (4, Informative)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268249)

But all the Robotic news seems to be coming out of Japan lately, is anything being done in the US that compares?

1 out of every 2 robots in the world are already in Japan. I guess they have a head start. Societies are different. We allow Mexicans to come into this country in lieu of robotic research. Japan has a much tighter immigration policy.

No, this is not a slam against Mexicans. Its been said publicly by Bush that we like illegal aliens for cheap labor (maybe other Presidents as well).

Re:Is the US lagging behind Japan? (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268407)

Now that you put the inmigration problem to afloat, I want to state a quote when talking with some rand() friend about the inmigration problem, he said something like this:

"the illegal Mexican to US inmigration problem is not a problem of Mexican government, for Mexico, after Petrolium, inmigrants is the second biggest source of income so it is a 'great buisness', the problem is in the USA and that it allows the inmigrants to go/work there. It is the USA government who needs to enforce its inmigration laws or make new ones IFF they REALLY want to get rid of all the Mexican workers that they have over there, or to legalize them all so they are not illegal anymore"

Well, it is too long for a quote and no I do not read it or remember it by heart, it is the general idea in my words. I kind of agree with him as I there is indeed a problem in Mexico when a lot of people is flying out of the country... (including me as I am studying abroad now...)

 

Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13268280)

At least as far as marketable robots are concerned. I asked a Sears VP whether any American companies were investing in robotics research, and whether they were interested in it. Her response was "The technology is in the Orient. They know to come to the US to handle marketing to Americans." When I was looking (2000), Japanese companies (at least the ones doing the insanely cool robotics stuff) weren't even acknowledging the labs' existence to English speakers. The only way I knew the labs existed was because the people running them gave talks at Robo-Cup Japan, and were listed with titles.

Re:Is the US lagging behind Japan? (2, Insightful)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268316)

Your Wikipedia reference provides a partial answer on why robotics R&D largely moved out of the US:
Unimation had obtained patents in the United States but not in Japan
While strong claims are made that patents encourage innovation, the reality, I believe, is the reverse. Invention thrives in an atmosphere of freedom, not one of bureaucratic control.

186 mph?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13268133)

looks more like 18.6 mph from the video

the applications are fantastic! (1, Funny)

evanism (600676) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268142)

Wax on, wax off.

brush up, brush down

Can it file my taxes for me?. Imagine the thing playing the piano, or handing out packs of chips at the baseball! hoy, hoy, hyuuuup over there! evanism ;)

Robotic fly catcher. (3, Insightful)

el_womble (779715) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268144)

Am I missing something or does this work something similar to the lines of a fly catcher plant? Something is in my reach -> grab. All that is happening is that they have developed motors and photosensors fast enough so that they can do it at incredible speeds.

The reality is that the robot has no idea what its catching. It doesn't know how to recognise a ball. The chances are that a fast moving object is easier to identify that a stationary one, as you just grab the thing that is moving rather than identifying a shape and deciding if that is the thing you want to collect.

Still an interesting technology showcase, but I'm still no closer to my robot slave :(

This is only a hand. (1)

Vengeance (46019) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268150)

Does your hand recognize a ball? Of course not, it's merely a tool used by your central control unit (brain) in order to catch what IT recognizes as a ball.

Similarly, this is one small component of what will eventually be one hellaciously competent robotic assistant. Put two (or ten!) of these hands on the ends of 'Doc Oc' style semi-autonomous arms and watch the fur fly! I hope they're on our side.

Re:Robotic fly catcher. (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268449)

The chances are that a fast moving object is easier to identify that a stationary one,

I remember in IJCAI 2004 conference I attended to an invited where the person explained the difference in information between a still image and a moving image, IIRC, he showed first 1 still image, where as he said you have only pixels, and all you can attempt to do is a "edge detection" to recognize objects (playing with contrast/brightness/channels etc).

After that he showed the next image in the collection and it showed an object translating, so with the sequence of two images you really had a lot more information. So definitely movement objects yield more information.

But anyway I think this invention is quite cool, just as a thought what is the speed of a bullet? could it be possible for a machine like this to catch bullets... yea yeah too much matrix for me uh?

Excellent for the Space program (4, Funny)

mrRay720 (874710) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268149)

1) Make them big
2) One of these on Earth
3) One of these on the Moon
4) Make big ball-shaped transport vessels.
5) SPACE PROFIT!

Certainly a lot better than crappy shuttles that are critically damaged by bloody foam insulation.

Hmmm (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13268152)

Would be nice if it could catch a bullet ...

SI, damn it! (1)

gunix (547717) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268156)

"186 miles per hour (300 kph) - more than 270 feet per second."

Why not inches per year or any other useful unit?
meters per second or (if you really insist, kilometers per hour). No other units!

Re:SI, damn it! (0, Troll)

black mariah (654971) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268207)

Shut the fuck up and deal with it. If you can't do rough conversions from imperial to metric in your head, what the fuck are you doing on slashdot? Turn in your geek badge and kill yourself.

Re:SI, damn it! (1)

The Madd Rapper (886657) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268286)

Both of these units are very useful to me. The first allows me to compare the ball to the most common standard I have observed: a moving vehicle. The second gives me a different perspective that I can still make sense of: how far it travels in just one second. (In fact, I would have preferred yards instead of feet because I think better in football fields, but luckily the conversion is pretty elementary. As for your own conversions, someone else already discussed that subject.)

Re:SI, damn it! (1)

Pauli (72610) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268331)

Feet per second is also a useful comparison unit because it is commonly used to express the speed of bullets fired from guns.

Re:SI, damn it! (0)

BRonsk (759601) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268425)

if you really insist, kilometers per hour
I insist that this unit is covered by sentence you are quoting.

Define catching... (4, Interesting)

fruey (563914) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268172)

Picking up an imprecise, reasonably fast throw to a particular area doesn't need catching ability : think of those coin collectors on toll gates which are just a funnel down to a small coin slot.

"The system is yet not sturdy enough to catch a real baseball and was only tested with soft balls. But, in other tests, it proved adept at grasping objects of various shapes, including cylinders."

So it's really a display of fast reacting robotic actuators and a pretty cool photo detection in order to time the reaction correctly. As the guy quoted in the article says "It's an engineering feat really"

Real catching, in my opinion, can only be acheived if you can follow through with your hands to "take the speed off the ball" at least for hard objects. I think that a fast moving real baseball would be incredibly hard to catch robotically. A mitt is really useful because it allows the momentum to be absorbed into a wide area. In cricket, all fielders know they have to bring the ball in to their chest or follow its trajectory after catching impact to not lose the ball - they don't have a mitt. This robot couldn't catch a moving hardball no matter how fast its actuators are, because the kinetic energy has to be disspated properly, and with a heavy ball this energy is very high.

Pretty cool demo though. I think its applications will be rather more in the picking up of (reasonably slow) moving objects realm than any useful rôle in catching. If you want to catch soft balls all day long might as well just breed dogs.

Re:Define catching... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13268183)

No kidding. I thought from the blurb this was going to be actually interesting -- It isn't. It catches balls that are fired straight at it. Also the ball is obviously soft and made of grippable foam, so if the thumbs just close down it'll be successfull -- no thinking machine involved.

ANYTHING can catch a ball fired straight at it, look at Les Nessman playing WKRP softball.

And what is with the over-engineered launcher? Almost makes me think the 'catcher' is using information known about the launcher position -- that's hardly innovative. Maybe less time building fancy plexiglas cabinets and more time on development was in order with this project. Please call me when this thing can move it's base to intercept an object flying past, then I'll consider it interesting.

Idiot Land-speed Record (1, Funny)

interiot (50685) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268173)

Somewhat coincidentally, Japanese Motorcycle manufacturers have collectively agreed to limit motorcycle's max speed to 300 kph (186.411 mph) [wikipedia.org] .

Is there any chance such a contraption could be used to save some silly person's butt in case they decide to go that fast?

Re:Idiot Land-speed Record (2, Insightful)

isorox (205688) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268338)

collectively agreed to limit motorcycle's max speed to 300 kph (186.411 mph)

I know the imperialists always convert from mph to kph in this manner when telling us of the superiority of the imperial system that their imperial overlords insist on, however do we really have to stoop so low as to give the speed to 6 s.f.? Do we really think the limiters are accurate to less than one thousandth of a percent? That's like saying a running track is length-accurate to about the thickness of you fingernail.

Sarcasm (1)

PainBot (844233) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268182)

There's gotta be an application for this in the war against terror.

Re:Sarcasm (0)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268203)

Of course.

"You've got two choices. Number one: Talk, number two: Be thrown down a twenty-story building, but don't worry, our Robotic Hand is there to catch you."

Missile Defense (2, Funny)

Skip1952 (122013) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268198)

Wow this is great! Has anybody told the Ballistic Missile Defense Agency? Maybe they'll have more luck catching a missile than shooting it down!

Re:Missile Defense (1)

TiMac (621390) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268266)

Damn you beat me to it!

This was my first thought as well, clicked into the comments and searched for "missile." Cheers to the like-minded thought!

300 km/h? Looks much slower in the video (1)

Captain Perspicuous (899892) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268221)

In the video [u-tokyo.ac.jp] , the ball has a very visible parabolic flight curve over the 2 meters distance. Either the video has been recorded on saturn, or the ball is flying much slower than they say.

Re:300 km/h? Looks much slower in the video (1)

amodm (876842) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268350)

I second that.

Anyone knows if that counter at the wall in the video is a clock ? If it is, the ball seems to be emerging from the cannon at around 87 reading, while its caught at around 91 reading. assuming that the readings are in 1/10th of secs, the time difference is around 0.4 secs. Assuming a distance of 2 mts, the speed comes down to around 5 mts/s.

oops.........just realized, if they were throwing the ball at the claimed speed, we wouldn't be seeing it at all.......hehehehe :)

double oops......they could've still showed it to us in slow motion !!

Re:300 km/h? Looks much slower in the video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13268369)

Im not too sure about the slow motion... the finger pushing the button looks to be in real-time

Asimovian future (1)

panurge (573432) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268233)

Robots will go to the ballpark to watch other robots playing baseball, while people sit at home playing computer games.

But don't worry. The robots watching will be programmed to enjoy it.

Shows just how powerfull the human brain is (3, Insightful)

SlightOverdose (689181) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268248)

Watching this made me think about the calculations involved in estimating the trajectory and how well the human brain does it.

While the raw maths is pretty simple by itself, when you factor in stereo image processing to see a ball, work out it's speed and trajectory, and move potentially hundreds of muscles into the correct position to catch the ball, you realise just how powerful the human brain is and how well it can adapt.

Re:Shows just how powerfull the human brain is (1)

Itchy Rich (818896) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268351)

While the raw maths is pretty simple by itself, when you factor in stereo image processing to see a ball, work out it's speed and trajectory, and move potentially hundreds of muscles into the correct position to catch the ball, you realise just how powerful the human brain is and how well it can adapt.

While I'm not knocking the brain, I'd be surprised if it used the same mathematical equations we'd use if we were calculating trajectories by hand or computer.

The trial-and-error learning process and the practice required to maintain hand-eye co-ordination make me think the brain is more likely to be using memory rather than calculus.

Re:Shows just how powerfull the human brain is (1, Funny)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268355)


While the raw maths is pretty simple by itself, when you factor in stereo image processing to see a ball, work out it's speed and trajectory, and move potentially hundreds of muscles into the correct position to catch the ball, you realise just how powerful the human brain is and how well it can adapt.


My dog is better at catching tennis balls than I am, and he does it in his mouth.

Does this mean that dogs have been secretly hiding the power of the canine brain? What are they planning? Oh my god...

Re:Shows just how powerfull the human brain is (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13268416)

And with all that power, it still can't spell.

(If something is full of power, it is called powerful with one L, and no, I'm not a native speaker either.)

Uah! It's *not* called kph! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13268251)

It's called km/h. Thanks a lot for trying to use metric, but please do it right.

Thank you.

Yankees (2, Funny)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268264)

Steinbrenner has already optioned the contract on the robot for 2008. Apparently, he likes it because you can scream at it all day long and it doesn't get upset.

Related articles (1)

LastNickAvailable (676709) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268278)

I especially like the related articles on the right :

# Robots find their feet with help of sonar
# Robot camel-jockeys take to the track
# Roaches get a robot buddy

Looks like serious science to me :)

I can catch a bus! ;-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13268282)

Can it catch a bus?

I need robot for catching (0)

syntap (242090) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268285)

the shit I get from wife. I need a proxy poop-receiver... will this robot do that for me?

Ahhh (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268315)

But the REAL question is, can it play football?

      What's up with all these Japanese "sports" robots anyway? I mean, I know their sports teams suck, but surely they can just do like the US and buy all the good foreign players (ducking...)

not bad... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13268325)

They will probably use it as a goalie for the national Japanese robot soccer team they've been yakin about lately.

Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13268359)

The old "solution looking for a problem".

Seriously, can I get this robot over here to uh.. catch balls for me?
Sorry, it is pretty cool I guess :)

yeah but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13268370)

how many voltswagon beetles is that?

It's not going that fast. (1)

Mustang Matt (133426) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268399)

In this particular video it's certainly not going 186 mph. I think throwing a ball at 186 mph would be a bigger feat than this robot catching a slower ball. Kind of neat though.

Robocop 2 (2, Interesting)

nherm (889807) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268413)

Cue that scene where Robocop catches a bullet fired to a police.

I've always wondered about the real physics of that scene, maybe robocop's fingers would be destroyed, or the bullet deformed... all that kinetic energy has to go somewhere...

Ok, back to work.

Sure... (0)

psychofox (92356) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268424)

I could have done that too. Just make a Robot throw a ball [easy peasy], video it, and then play the video backwards...

Classic-Find-Use-After-Make case. (1)

jigyasubalak (308473) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268427)

>Akio Namiki and colleagues built the robot to test technologies that could some day make robots useful in situations where they may have to react at high speed.

Few Japanese robotics guys smoke something and make a robot and then spew the statements: "This robot is for those occassions where they have to be used in ". If they accidentally come up with a robotic sledgehammer..they'll just say that it is to break coconuts rather than to break human heads.

Obl Snow Crash reference (1)

indig0 (812630) | more than 8 years ago | (#13268456)

Sure, it can play catch... But can it form an heart-warming relationship with a sassy Kourier, defend Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong, and take down a low-flying jet by jumping into its engine? No? PRIORITIES, PEOPLE!
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