Robot to take on top sportsman in exhibition table tennis match


Can ‘Agilus’ robot make it into world ping-pong top ten?

It’s head-to-head between man and machine and it could stand to be the most momentous event of it’s kind since IBM’s Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov at chess in the 1990's.

The match, organised by German robotics company KUKA is an event to mark the opening of their new Shanghai factory.

Representing mankind will be Germany’s world number eight table tennis champ Timo Boll, himself a beneficiary of KUKA sponsorship. Stoically carrying the hopes of the machines will be KUKA’s Agilus robotic arm, which the company heralds as ‘the fastest industrial robot in the world’.

The exhibition event, according to KUKA, ‘celebrates the inherent speed, precision, and flexibility of KUKA's industrial robots in tandem with Boll's electrifying and tactical prowess in competition.’

It’s apparent from the teaser video that neither side is giving much away as they prepare for the match, although should the contest come down to bat-ball balancing skills then Agilus looks to have been putting in some practice.

The match is due to take place on March 11th and should you want to bear witness to it you can do so via this link.

image: © Kuka