Omron’s fourth generation of Forpheus, a ping-pong playing robot, is breaking new standards in robotics by giving us tips on how to play ping pong and stepping in as our opponent.

Featured at CES 2019 many individuals stepped up to the plate to play against this worthy opponent, and many lost. Omron focused on having Forpheus pursue the “harmony of humans and machines” by allowing the robot to patiently coach his opponent.

Referred to as a “him” on Omron’s website, we probably won’t be calling Forpheus by his full name very often: “Future Omron Robotics technology for Exploring Possibility of Harmonized aUtomation with Sinic theoretics.”

This year, Forpheus came with some updates such as his high-speed, multi-axis robotic arm that represents a human elbow and wrist. This allows the ping-pong playing bot to mimic human movement and put topspin and backspin on shots. The robotic arm is controlled by AI through a five-axis motor system that swings the paddle. The brain of the bot, also known as the motion controller, then tells Forpheus how to hit the ball, when to hit it, and the direction it will go within a 1000th of a second.

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