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World’s Fastest Robot Versus The Wiimote (video)

adept-quattro-vs-wiimote

Move the platform before the Quattro can place a tile! Hardest. Game. Ever.

The only thing more exciting than watching the world’s fastest robot is trying to defeat the world’s fastest robot with your video game skills. Adept’s Quattro, a placement and sorting arm, took the title of fastest robot last year, but it was only recently during National Robotics Week that it met its most gruesome opponents: nerds with Wiimotes. Visitors tried to keep the Quattro from placing and sorting on a small mechanized platform by moving it using the Nintendo video controller. This wasn’t even a close competition. Check out the Quattro’s insultingly easy defeat over the Wiimote guided platform as it dodges and weaves in the video from BotJunkie below:


There’s a good reason automation is spreading to every aspect of manufacturing. Robots like the Quattro are simply too fast and too precise for humans to contend with. Sure, the competition in the video above would have been closer if the platform had moved faster, but then you’re really talking about machine vs. machine. A human moving the platform around by hand would have been cool, but possibly very bloody if the Quattro took a misstep (unintentionally of course). The bottom line is that when it comes to simplified and repetitive tasks there’s really no beating robotic prowess. Think you could defeat the Quattro? You can’t. But if you need further evidence I’ll leave you with this video of the bot in its real world job. Give it time, and robots are likely to replace humans at every menial industrial task. Automation is here, it’s staying, get used to it.

[screen capture and video credits: BotJunkie]
[source: Adept Press Release]

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16 comments

  • Cailean says:

    The argument that automation eventually replacing everyone is decades old (or older, if you consider that it probably first got uttered at the beginning of the industrial revolution). However, it’s still cheaper to pay a workforce of sweatshop laborers than to purchase and maintain even one robot (which is backed by a workforce of programmers, support technicians, etc. which all cost a lot more than the sweatshop laborers as well).

    It hasn’t happened yet, and I seriously doubt it’s going to happen anytime soon. Robots for “every menial industrial task” simply isn’t feasible. At the very least, having the majority of the human population unemployed as a result would likely result in economic collapse due to people failing to earn the money necessary to buy the products the robots produced.

  • Cailean says:

    The argument that automation eventually replacing everyone is decades old (or older, if you consider that it probably first got uttered at the beginning of the industrial revolution). However, it’s still cheaper to pay a workforce of sweatshop laborers than to purchase and maintain even one robot (which is backed by a workforce of programmers, support technicians, etc. which all cost a lot more than the sweatshop laborers as well).

    It hasn’t happened yet, and I seriously doubt it’s going to happen anytime soon. Robots for “every menial industrial task” simply isn’t feasible. At the very least, having the majority of the human population unemployed as a result would likely result in economic collapse due to people failing to earn the money necessary to buy the products the robots produced.

  • Evil Rocks says:

    That’s hardly a fair test! What’s the baud rate on a Wiimote? Why is the test bed constrained in two directions? Why isn’t the test bed driven by decent motors (that is to say, look at how long it takes the bed to slow down and reverse direction relative to the speed of the robot)?

    I call “unfair test”, “adver-bullshit”. I know this is a foooture-cheerleading website, but if you’re going to make an attempt to displace print media show a little fucking incredulity when presented with an advertisement.

  • Evil Rocks says:

    That’s hardly a fair test! What’s the baud rate on a Wiimote? Why is the test bed constrained in two directions? Why isn’t the test bed driven by decent motors (that is to say, look at how long it takes the bed to slow down and reverse direction relative to the speed of the robot)?

    I call “unfair test”, “adver-bullshit”. I know this is a foooture-cheerleading website, but if you’re going to make an attempt to displace print media show a little fucking incredulity when presented with an advertisement.

  • Nick says:

    Did the robot know the position of the platform? It’s great you could change the platform location with the Wiimote, but if that’s simply a variable to the robot then it makes the math as trivial as if the platform were stationary.

    • Happy says:

      my thoughts exactly Nick; if the platform was being tracked by some kind of vision system or something, that would be more impressive, if just a linear encoder as an input into the robot then not so much.

    • dogtato says:

      obviously it’s a visual tracking system. it would be totally useless if they had to program in the position of every frozen burrito or scrubby sponge coming down a conveyor belt

  • Nick says:

    Did the robot know the position of the platform? It’s great you could change the platform location with the Wiimote, but if that’s simply a variable to the robot then it makes the math as trivial as if the platform were stationary.

    • Happy says:

      my thoughts exactly Nick; if the platform was being tracked by some kind of vision system or something, that would be more impressive, if just a linear encoder as an input into the robot then not so much.

    • dogtato says:

      obviously it’s a visual tracking system. it would be totally useless if they had to program in the position of every frozen burrito or scrubby sponge coming down a conveyor belt

  • anonymous says:

    sure it’s fast… but will it blend?

  • anonymous says:

    sure it’s fast… but will it blend?

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