Technology June 27, 2012
VIDEO OF THE DAY: This Rock Paper Scissors Robot Always Wins

Rock Paper Scissors - or Janken, as it's known in Japan - is a fun game because theoretically, it's all about chance: since you never know which way your opponent's going to go, either side could win (although some players, like Bart Simpson, always pick rock). Well, if you're looking for a fair game, don't challenge this new robot, built by Ishikawa Oku Laboratory in Japan. According to its creators, it wins at Rock Paper Scissors 100 percent of the time.

So how can a robot defeat a human player with complete consistency? By cheating. A little. Basically, the 'bot uses a hyper-sensitive camera that can recognize the hand-shape its opponent is making a millisecond before it's fully formed. This allows the robot to counter with the correct shape almost instantly - so it looks like it just got lucky. In the slowed-down shots toward the end of the video, you can perceive the very slight delay that makes the illusion work:

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