Awareness, focus, precision, speed—highly desirable qualities not only for human workers but for robots. Yaskawa Electric Corporation in Japan recently issued a video that is turning heads as to just what present-day robotics engineers can accomplish.
They have presented a video showing what happens when their industrial robot—Motoman MH24—is placed in competition with a world-famous sword master. Welcome to a Yaskawa challenge, featuring a robot and human expert engaging in a display of skills around bamboo poles. Essentially, this is a challenge where viewers can witness the performance reach of a modern-day industrial robot. Qualities such as "agility," "accuracy" and "flexibility" were on trial—could the robot stand up to the real sword master?
In comes Isao Machii, iaijutsu ( a sword technique cultivated from ancient times) Master, and five-time world record holder. As a sword technique, iaijutsu teaches how to draw quickly. Machii's fans worldwide know him for his feats, and supporters say he can take the level of eye/hand coordination higher than anyone else. Case in point: his having cut a speeding bullet in mid-air with his sword. At a firing range outside the hills of Los Angeles, he was shown a BB gun pellet which he was to slice with his sword. He did.