Sword-wielding robot vs. human in the Yaskawa Bushido Project


Wait, we’re teaching robots to use swords now? We’ve seen this anime series, it doesn’t end well.

Actually, it’s not quite that bad. Japanese company Yaskawa Electric Corporation, to celebrate their centenary, have decided to pit one of their Motoman-MH24 industrial robots against champion swordsman Isao Machii in the art of Iaijyutsu for the Yaskawa Bushido Project.

The robot first learns sword movement from Isao, by the simple expedient of motion capture. Then, once the robot has been programmed, it’s time for man and machine to go head-to-head. It’s quite the contest.

Isao and the MH24 alternate turns, from diagonal cuts to upward strikes to the grand finale known as Thousand Cuts. We reckon that final challenge deserves the capital letters too, as its an endurance trial and the only place where the robotic challenger holds an advantage. It doesn’t get tired, after all, but it still lacks human accuracy where it counts. We could probably avoid the robot’s strikes. If we saw them coming. Isao would cut us to thinly-sliced ribbons.

Source: via Engadget


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