Ping-Pong Training Robot Is a CES Smash, But It’s Not for Sale


LAS VEGAS—If you wish to be a magnet for a bunch of gadget lovers, arrange a ping-pong enjoying robotic at a consumer-technology conference and provides all of them a shot at it.

Meet Forpheus, a ping-pong “tutor” constructed by Japan-based

Omron Corp.


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that made its U.S. debut this week at CES 2018. Right here, exhibitors showcase coming merchandise, along with prototypes which are years down the highway. For some toys, nonetheless, the discharge timeline is rarely.

Forpheus makes use of cameras, sensors, controls, synthetic intelligence and machine studying, amongst different applied sciences, to play ping pong with you. The robotic can anticipate your strikes, match your enjoying abilities and rating you on how nicely you’re staying in sync with it.

Omron has been exhibiting Forpheus since 2014 and including options every year. New for 2018 is a robotic arm that offers Forpheus the power to serve, as you possibly can see within the video above.

The robotic’s abilities are supposed to illustrate how Omron’s know-how might be utilized, as an example, in manufacturing unit automation.

Keith Kersten, a advertising supervisor with Omron Automation Americas, wasn’t certain how many individuals performed with Forpheus at CES however he stated the table was in fixed use. Folks had been respectful about taking turns, largely.

“Sometimes we needed to say, ‘We all know you’re having enjoyable however we do have to present others an opportunity,’” he stated.

Regardless of the recognition, Forpheus received’t ever go on sale.

“We had many inquiries as to how a lot it could price to have one,” Mr. Kersten stated. “The reply was, sadly, that is only a idea. It’s not one thing that was ever meant to be produced to promote.”

Write to Katherine Bindley at katie.bindley@wsj.com

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