Like little stars.
Yesterday, March 11, a Chinese robotic company hosted the first ever man versus robot table tennis match in Sofia, Bulgaria. Playing for the humans was Timo Boll, a former No. 1 table tennis champ from Germany. On the robot side we had the Chinese company Kuka’s Agilus robotic arm.
Kuka’s website lists 17 possible functions for the 114-pound, six-axis robot, including assembly, packaging and forging plants — but surprisingly not ping-pong. As Mashable points out, the website gives little insight into how this robot, with a nearly 3-foot arm-span, senses the ball. No visual sensor is listed. Agilu’s quick reaction time and few misses are a mysterious technical feat, but will they be enough to beat Boll?
The match (supposedly) happened in real time, although the resulting video is, well, highly stylized. With slow motion action, tense music and dramatic scorecard flipping, the above video is essentially a commercial for Kuka to promote its new robot factory in Shanghai.
Kuka is not alone in developing automated robots, Google is also working with Foxconn on cutting-edge robotics (even though Eric Schmidt is worried about how automation will impact jobs). Fear not, Boll bested the robot by one point. Despite this victory for mankind, we all watched this video, so the robotics company was really the winner.
Like little stars.
World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.
So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).
My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.
High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.
Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.
New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.
Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.
Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.
Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.
Really does taste like pineapple.