I once believed I could have been a competitive ping pong player/participant. But tragically, it’s likely way too late for me now.
I have learned to reconsider my ping pong abilities, many thanks to Forpheus, a robotic I observed this week at CES in Las Vegas. Built by Omron, Forpheus initial appeared at CES only last year to wow the crowds with its ping pong prowess. It can be seen again this year with an expanded array of motion and improved predictability abilities.
When I mention to friends and family that I competed in ping pong with a robot this year, their immediate question is usually: ‘Did you win?’
The ambitious goal of Forpheus is to mentor humans on strengthening their abilities in the sport. The robot makes use of sensors on your paddle and has 4 cameras to do the job of tracking your movements. It performs this by making use of a multi-axis robotic arm that can mimic human practices such as topspin. Comments comes via voice and on a display screen, which delivers guidelines about posture, positioning and swing.
Forpheus explained to me that I was 48 per cent very similar to an elite experienced participant. I know what you are pondering — 48 per cent just isn’t that similar. But remember that I am in the worst condition of my existence and very out of shape. Consider for a moment, if I might have experienced this sort of feed-back 15 years in the past when I was in all my ping pong glory.
Even in the couple of minutes we experienced with each other, Forpheus gave me guidelines on how to strengthen my variety and picked up that I wrestle a lot more with my forehand. (My backhand is a lot more powerful.)
Many thanks to Forpheus and other robotic coaches of the long term, possibly some other fortunate child out there will be ready to become a professional with Forpheus’ help.