Cheating Rock, Paper, Scissors Robot Wins Every Time

When machine finally decides to rise against man, the human race is going to have its hands full. For one, it's a well known fact that robots have super human strength and pose a particular problem for senior citizens (we're not making this up, but Old Glory Insurance might be). They're also cheaters, so don't go hoping for a fair fight.

Maybe not all robots are cheaters, but the one built and programmed by researchers at Ishikawa Oku Laboratory in Japan is certainly a scoundrel. It only has three fingers, but it will beat any five-fingered human opponent at Rock, Paper, Scissors every time. You could play against it 100 times and it would lay paper over your rock, cut your paper with scissors, or smash your scissors with rock each and every time, no matter which you choose. How is that possible?

As we said, it's cheating. A YouTube video shows the robot seemingly outsmarting its human opponent every single time, but what it's really doing is using a high speed camera to wait to see which object you select, and then trumping it.

"Recognition of human hand can be performed at 1ms with a high-speed vision, and the position and the shape of the human hand are recognized," the researchers explain. "The wrist joint angle of the robot hand is controlled based on the position of the human hand. The vision recognizes one of rock, paper and scissors based on the shape of the human hand. After that, the robot hand plays one of rock, paper and scissors so as to beat the human being in 1ms."

It happens too fast for the human eye to really detect what's going on, though the robot's shenanigans are revealed towards the end of the video when the action is slowed down to 1/50th of its normal speed, and you can clearly see the robot hesitates just long enough to see what its human opponent just played.

The researchers say this technology can be "applied to motion support of human beings," but who are we kidding, it's just a another weapon our mechanical overlords will end up using against us.