Janken

Janken

Is it possible to win 100% playing the millennia-old game of Rock, Paper, Sissors? A new Janken robot (Janken is the Japanese name for Rock, Paper, Scissors – why is the West stuck with a French name for an ancient Egyptian game? It’s a mystery of linguistics) can win against humans without fail.

The Janken robot instead uses super-fast vision, according to its creators in the Ishikawa-Oku Laboratory at the University of Tokyo. The Janken robot’s high-speed vision system analyzes the position and the shape of the human hand and, because it can act in 1 millisecond, it recognizes whether rock, paper or scissors is being played and successfully counters it. It can’t lose. Think you will just change your mind? What about 1 millisecond do you not understand?

janken
Scientists at Ishikawa Oku Laboratory (previously called the Ishikawa Komuro Lab) have extended their previous work with super fast robot hands and scanning systems that can record 200 pages in a minute to develop the janken system.

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In fact, the lab’s YouTube channel is brimming with videos demonstrating each robotics development that is sure to tantalize with the technological possibilities.

The janken robot is basically using the wrist angle as a tell, one that turns out to be the biggest tell of all for winning every time. It’s amazing that a 1-millisecond advantage that provides predictions with 100 percent accuracy can be derived from a measurement of the wrist angle. But there’s a good reason why humans can’t analyze wrist angles to pull off the same feat. We’re just too slow at making predictions.

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