NBA Season Over… Ping-Pong Anyone?

The fear of the NBA canceling the 2011-2012 season is very real.  If you are tired of overpaid professional athletes wining about another million, it is time for us to “Occupy Sports” by replacing these numbnuts with some bolts.

The students at China’s Zhejiang University are not waiting for a strike, to plan to overthrow humans on the court.  Table tennis for the Chinese is like Baseball for Americans.  Imagine the scene if Derek Jeter became Jeter-Bot?  Well, weighing in at 120 pounds, 5.2 ft , are Wu and Kong the ping-pong robots players of the future.

Using their cameras, these bots are able to process real-time ball strategy at a rate of 120 frames per second.  Their technique is further enhanced by the high-speed industrial automation of Ethernet technology, enabling the droids to “take some 50 to 100 milliseconds to respond to the ball’s speed and trajectory, knocking it back to the other side of the table.” According to the head designer, Xiong Rong, the “margin of error is less than an inch.”

This innovation is the greatest advancement of the sport since the British first introduced it to China in the 19 Century.  While Wu and Kong still have some ways before going pro and taking on Wang Hao or Xu Xin, they are beating the humans on the court of public opinion, at least while player lockout continue.



Categories: News, Politics, Robotics, Sports

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