It Won't Be Long Before Drones Start Winning Olympic Gold Medals In Table Tennis

Everyone assumes that one day robotic arms will be dominating human opponents at the inevitable Cyber Olympics. If IBM’s research division has anything to say about it, flying drones could pose the bigger threat to mankind’s gold medal dreams.

Jae-Eun Park and the rest of the computer vision research team at IBM have successfully taught an IRIS+ drone to track the trajectory of a ping pong ball headed its way, and intercept it in order to return the shot.


We have to question whether or not the Cyber Olympics organizers would approve of the cable tether that helps the IRIS+ quickly return to its side of the table, but since they’ll probably be robots too, there’s little chance they won’t.

[IBM Research via DIY Drones via IEEE Spectrum]


Kesava Anderson

I worked for a company that produced the machine on the other side of the table. Needless to say, we played ping pong every day. I even got to meet the US Ping Pong team (yes, thats a thing, I was surprised too). The machine can be set to master level and shoot out unreturnable, but legal serves . It was created so that when the machines take over the world, they will break our bodies AND our spirits.…