Air Hockey Robot Changes Strategy Based On Opponent’s Moves [Video]

Air Hockey Robot Changes Strategy Based On Opponent’s Moves [Video]

Japanese researchers have developed an unbeatable arcade-game playing droid.

Daniela Walker
  • 17 june 2013

Researchers at the Namiki Laboratory of Chiba University, Japan have developed an air hockey playing robot that may ruin many a teenagers’ Friday night at the arcade.

Developed as part of the team’s research into high speed tracking, this robot not only plays air hockey, but assesses its human opponent’s moves and anticipates the game play, adapting as the strategy changes. An explanation on the lab’s website states:

The goal of this study is to develop the technology of high-speed human interactive robot in which the robot reads the opponent’s intention and moves in response to the opponent’s motion and human purpose expectation.


The robot is linked to an external computer and cameras that capture the action at 500 frames per second, tracking the opponent’s paddle movement in relation to the puck, determining whether the other player is playing offensively or defensively, and then moves accordingly. As the game continues, the robot builds upon its knowledge to learn and adapt to its opponents playing style. This is not a robot that can easily beaten.

Check out the video below to see the superquick reflexes of the air hockey robot:

Namiki Laboratory, Chiba University

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