In an epic battle of man-versus-machine ping-pong, man ultimately prevails, but the showdown highlights advances in developing human-like qualities in robots.
To celebrate the opening of a Shanghai factory, German robotics company Kuka pitted its one-armed ping-pong-playing robot against German table tennis champ Timo Boll.
Ping-pong has become a popular way to demonstrate agility and rapid reflexes in robots. (And humans, too.) Vietnamese robotics company TOSY debuted a humanoid ping-pong-playing robot in 2007 and a German industrial mechanic recently showed off UHTTR-1, another one-armed robot that also excels in the sport.