Researchers at Germany's University of Tübingen developed a computer simulation that taught a virtual robot arm outfitted with a table tennis racket how to return virtual ping pong balls.
A machine learning algorithm observed the simulation for 90 minutes, learning how the ping pong ball's path was affected by velocity and the racket's orientation.
The researchers then used the algorithm to control a real robot arm at a real table tennis table, and found the robot arm could return balls within an average of 24.9 centimeters of the target location. However, it struggled with fast, slow, and backspin shots.
Said University of Tübingen's Andreas Zell, "It's not worse than a regular human player. It's already on par with me."
From New Scientist
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