Friday, June 10, 2011

Cool Science: Robots Playing Shuffleboard, Throw Eggs

I found this video on Youtube, and I thought that it was so amazing that I had to share it with everyone. Here you have some teams from Oregon State University that actually have built a robot (more like a computer controlled puck launcher) to play the famous retiree game of shuffleboard.

It's impossible to tell exactly how good the robots are, but they're probably better than I am -- considering I've never played before.

In a lot of ways, it's pretty amazing how far computer and robot technology have advanced in the last 20 years. Science is really starting to do even more amazing things. Even though this is a cute example of artificial intelligence, similar robots and similar competitions take place in mechanical engineering departments in colleges all across the country.

Here is an example from the University of Utah where students built a robot to throw eggs into a basket.

In some ways, the University of Utah robots are even more impressive than the robots that play shuffleboard because of the delicate touch that is required when handling an egg.

So, what does the future hold for humanity? I think that I agree with Ken Jennings, Jeopardy player extraordinare that, "I for one welcome our new computer overlords."(i.e. Watson)

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