Japan—of course it's Japan, home of the Messi-stopping goalkeeper robot—has found a way to win all the Dave & Buster's tickets.
Developed by researchers at Chiba University, because science, the robot uses two high-speed cameras to track the puck and its opponent at a ridiculous 500 fps. But that's not the scariest part:
Basically, the robot observes the speed and position of the player's paddle in relation to the puck. This data can be described by what is known as a Motion Pattern Histogram (MPH). The robot uses this data to estimate whether its opponent is playing aggressively or defensively. Over the course of a game, the robot can detect these MPHs in real-time and compare them with reference patterns to help it figure out what you're doing.
So in a sense, by detecting and matching a given playing style, the robot isn't just physically playing the game against you: it's adding a psychological component to the match.
YET AGAIN, no one stops to think whether it's a good idea to teach robots how to figure out our weaknesses. Stick this thing on a Roomba and hand it a power drill, and we're all fucked.
[via Puck Daddy]