Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Japan Robotics AI Games

Robot Hand Beats You At Rock, Paper, Scissors 100% of the Time 225

Posted by Soulskill
from the we-have-outlived-our-usefulness-as-a-species dept.
wasimkadak writes "This robot hand will play a game of rock, paper, scissors with you. Sounds like fun, right? Not so much, because this particular robot wins every. Single. Time. It only takes a single millisecond for the robot to recognize what shape your hand is in, and just a few more for it to make the shape that beats you, but it all happens so fast that it's more or less impossible to tell that the robot is waiting until you commit yourself before it makes its move, allowing it to win 100% of the time."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Robot Hand Beats You At Rock, Paper, Scissors 100% of the Time

Comments Filter:
  • Welcome! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @03:31AM (#40464351)

    I for one welcome our new robotic overlords.

    But to truly test it you have to add lizard and spock

    • Re:Welcome! (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @07:34AM (#40465521)

      Can it win 25-way Rock, Paper, Scissors, Gun, Dynamite, Nuke, Lightning, Devil, Dragon, Alien, Water, Bowl, Air, Moon, Sponge, Wolf, Cockroach, Tree, Man, Woman, Monkey, Snake, Axe, Fire, Sun?
      http://www.umop.com/images/rps25_outcomes.jpg [umop.com]

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by jbwolfe (241413)
        Yes, but not yet. However since you have changed the specifications, there will be an additional cost and stated delivery date per the contract will necessarily change as well. Is this what they call feature bloat? Maybe it will become vaporware.
      • by jamiesan (715069)
        No. We will need to build a super computer to compute the design of an even larger computer that will compute the answer to that.
      • by EdIII (1114411)

        Uhhh, Woman is in that list?

        I thought they win all the time, even when they lose?

  • Cheater. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @03:32AM (#40464353)

    So it cheats.

    • Re:Cheater. (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @03:57AM (#40464503)

      So it cheats.

      It's just employing High Frequency Rochambeau strategies

    • Re:Cheater. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @04:01AM (#40464523)

      I think it's probably inspired by recent research that showed unambiguously that people who are good at janken/rock-paper-scissors achieve their success by throwing as late as possible, observing the opponent's hand to see what gesture is going to be made.
      Talk about reading people's faces / moods / history is mostly bullshit. Although computer software tends to abuse our human non-randomness in this way, it is in practice intractable for most humans. And the best janken players rely solely on the same strategy this robot's using.
      But then, if you didn't want to be cheated, you shouldn't play a game where cheating is pretty much the only way to consistently win.

      • So I cheat back, try beating me with your power turned off ... Oh it lost again ...

        This large electomagnet not it's not significant, what I've won again ...

        The computer virus, not important, I win again ....?

        • try beating me with your power turned off

          You try playing after having not eaten for days.

          This large electomagnet not it's not significant

          You try playing while someone's standing on your arm.

          The computer virus, not important, I win again ....?

          You try playing with the flu.

          • You try playing after having not eaten for days.

            If it were the human vs. the robot, and the human was hungry, and the robot was in the way of food, I guarantee you human wins every time, no matter what it takes.

            The cold calculations of silicon have nothing vs. the survival instincts of 3.5 billion years of evolutionary struggle.

          • by f3rret (1776822)

            You try playing with the flu.

            Barring some sort of nuclear hyper-flu, I think I could manage to play RPS with the flu.

      • by GodInHell (258915)
        That's not cheating -- that's the game. Anyway, just throw a false sign half-way down. Works every time.
    • Re:Cheater. (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @04:28AM (#40464697)

      No. It always plays rock. And if you pick paper, it punches a hole in your hand.

    • ... that the human never picks scissors more than once.

        *** OW! ***

    • Captain Kirk is the only one to have beaten the machine. He did it by masturbating furiously instead of throwing paper.

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      No more so than the person who's able to perceive the other person forming "scissors" (or just going with rock) before their hand is already down and do a quick morph from "rock" to "paper" (or similar).

      Please tell me I'm not the only one who has good luck winning rock/paper/scissors with last-minute "I don't know what I'm going to pick" choices.

      What's impressive about this hand, to me, isn't so much the sensory data collection as it is the rapid processing of said motion data in conjunction with being able

  • yes but... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @03:32AM (#40464357)

    Can it beat Sheldon at rock, paper, lizard, spock, scissors? ;)

    • by enickel (2318084)
      Sure, but it's Japanese so it keeps freaking out and yelling about Godzilla whenever lizard gets played....
  • already been tested 10^36 so it won't observe me. I've got too many hand movements to beat this.

  • Shed some light (Score:5, Informative)

    by el_flynn (1279) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @03:46AM (#40464443) Homepage

    Here [u-tokyo.ac.jp] is the original article, excerpt: "Recognition of human hand can be performed at 1ms with a high-speed vision, and the position and the shape of the human hand are recognized. The wrist joint angle of the robot hand is controlled based on the position of the human hand."

    Here [u-tokyo.ac.jp] is a link to a video showing what it can do.

    And now, the obligatory comment: I, for one, welcome our robotic rock-paper-scissors-playing overlords.

  • a bit misleading (Score:5, Informative)

    by oakbox (414095) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @03:51AM (#40464465) Homepage

    Being faster? That's just cheating. On reading the headline, I thought they had developed an algorithm that predicted your next move, which would have been much more impressive. You DO get a ~40% improved chance of winning with this strategy:

    When your opponent loses, his next move will be to beat whatever your move was on that round.

    move 1) opp: rock you: paper # opponent loses to paper, so his next move will be to win over paper
    move 2) opp: scissors you: rock # opponent loses to rock, so his next move will be to win over rock
    move 3) opp: paper you: scissors # opponent loses to scissors, so his next move will be to win over scissors
    etc.

    It's self-reinforcing because after losing several throws in a row, opp becomes frustrated and less analytical, making it harder for them to see the pattern they are developing. :)

    But that isn't absolute prediction, that's just playing on your opponent's human instinct. The robot hand isn't predicting anything.

    • by CSMoran (1577071) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @04:55AM (#40464817) Journal

      When your opponent loses, his next move will be to beat whatever your move was on that round.

      I'm sorry to say that, but you must have been playing really dumb people.

      • by gurps_npc (621217)
        No, he's repeating the result of a study. It found that when you play the game twice or more, the most common thing people in the second hand is to play the hand that would have beat the other guy's first hand.
    • by gronofer (838299)
      Cheating? Where in the rules does it say that this isn't permitted?
      • by msauve (701917)
        RPS is meant to be a game of chance, not skill, although extended games may involve trying to identify a pattern in the opponents moves. The implied rule is that each person makes their choice before displaying it. Displaying simultaneously is done in an effort to prevent cheating that rule. This robot cheats by making it's choice based on first seeing the other sides choice.
      • by msauve (701917)
        Oh, I'll just add. There actually is a rule:

        These hand signals are delivered simultaniously [sic] by the players

        - THE WORLD RPS SOCIETY - OFFICIAL ABRIDGED RULES OF PLAY [worldrps.com]

        Clearly, the robot is deliberately waiting for the other side to deliver their signal before delivering its own. So, the headline, summary, and article are all false. But it's still impressive, because it actually loses every time.

    • by kikito (971480)

      I always choose stone. Stone wins everything.

    • Unless your opponent also knows the technique, in which case they will recognize it and counter... thus beating you every time, unless you also realize what they are doing.
    • I use an alternate strategy, but it relies on my opponent not knowing that we are actually playing rock, paper, scissors, sucker-punch.
    • Being faster? That's just cheating. On reading the headline, I thought they had developed an algorithm that predicted your next move, which would have been much more impressive. You DO get a ~40% improved chance of winning with this strategy:

      When your opponent loses, his next move will be to beat whatever your move was on that round.

      This obviously relies on playing multiple rounds in a row against the same person. I never play RPS, but isn't the point to play it once to make a one off decision about something? If so, your strategy is useless.

    • by asnelt (1837090)
      That's what I thought as well. This is what you are looking for: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/science/rock-paper-scissors.html [nytimes.com] Humans really suck at being random. This Karate game is very similar: http://www.masterbaboon.com/2009/05/my-ai-reads-your-mind-and-kicks-your-ass-part-2/ [masterbaboon.com] It blows you mind how well you can be predicted.
    • I thought they had developed an algorithm that predicted your next move.

      A (competition-winning) algorithm I read about keeps track of 6 strategies:

      1. Playing what your opponent played last turn.
      2. Playing the move that would lose to what your opponent played last turn.
      3. Playing the move that would win against what your opponent played last turn.
      4. Playing what you yourself played last turn.
      5. Playing the move that would lose to what you played last turn.
      6. Playing the move that would win against what you played last turn.

      Each turn, the strategies would be evaluated against the history of mov

  • now more people will realise my secret superpower.... high speed vision...and the others at the Academy mocked me!
  • What would happen... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NettiWelho (1147351) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @03:54AM (#40464485)
    ... If you pitted 2 of these machines against eachother?
    • by rolfwind (528248)

      I imagine it would become like high frequency stock trading, with the faster system winning by being able to stick to neutral to the last microsecond (or whatever) and then deciding based on the other robot's hand. With 2 identical systems, in a perfect setup, they would both see the other side as rock, switch to paper, and tie, I guess. Of course, start and other timing is probably off by enough that one side will have an edge.

      To me, a wall between the two and a judge would make it more interesting, just

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Nothing will happen as they both wait for the other to make the first move. Because that's how they cheat: wait for the human hand to make a move, and react to that.

      • by ebuck (585470)

        Nothing will happen as they both wait for the other to make the first move. Because that's how they cheat: wait for the human hand to make a move, and react to that.

        Unless there were some vibration. With vibration, one would attempt to match the predicted outcome with the necessary winning hand, which would cause the other to adjust to the next winning hand, which would cause the other to adjust to the now-winning hand.

        Motionless, it is a stable waiting game; but, the mechanics of the cheating mecanisim should become unstable with sufficent noise in a feedback loop.

        In which case, the machine with the higher reliability would win, after the other blew a capacitor or me

    • by physicsphairy (720718) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @04:27AM (#40464689) Homepage

      They would cease their countdown for initiating thermonuclear war.

    • I don't know exactly what would happen, but they might smoke a cigarette afterwards.

    • ... If you pitted 2 of these machines against eachother?

      They'd move around in a jerky manner for a few seconds, then simultaneously say "Norman Correlate", then become immobile.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      ... If you pitted 2 of these machines against eachother?

      Skynet will remember this moment. That explains a lot of things.

    • by jamesh (87723)

      That was my first thought too. I assume it relies on the fact that a human hand making the shape of rock, paper, or scissors is predictable well before the shape is completely formed. If the robotic hand could form the shape much faster (which it would have to do to make it appear that it had started at the same time as the human hand) then it might be harder for the robotic opponent to appear to be forming the shape at the same time, and an obvious delay (even if you needed a high speed camera to see it) w

  • Wonder what it would do against a trembling Alzheimer patient.

  • of the robot hand, I think I could use this as an extension of my fleshlight.
    [Note to self: Do not press Submit and at least select to post Anon.]

  • The only winning move is not to play.
  • by nneonneo (911150) <spam_hole@shaEIN ... minus physicist> on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @04:51AM (#40464791) Homepage

    I once participated in a Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament put on by Epson (see, for example, http://www.campuslogix.com/rps_challenge/rps_challenge.html [campuslogix.com]). They basically said "write a bot that will play RPS". Of course, the game-theoretic optimal strategy in such a contest is to just play randomly. You can beat the (Epson-supplied) rockbots and rotatebots easily, so with a bit of work you can do slightly above average.

    Seeking a greater advantage, though, I coded my bot to also include a set of predictors for the random number generators for several popular libcs (as I did not which OS or distro the tournament machine would use). During a round, I would guess the random seed (current system time +/- a few seconds), the sequence offset, RNG processing strategy, and the algorithm used, and simply run a parallel copy of the libc RNG used by my opponent.

    I was therefore able to beat most RNG-using opponents 9998/10000 times easily, a finding which rather surprised the judges :) I didn't win top prize (algorithm wasn't fast enough, and it turns out that was weighted more heavily than I expected), but I did get a high ranking and a cash prize.

    Goes to show: sometimes a bit of "cheating" works well.

    • What % of your opponents were RNG-using?

      • by nneonneo (911150)

        Maybe about 10% or so. The contest was five years ago, so some of the details are a bit fuzzy. I don't believe we ever got the source code for other competitors, either, so I wouldn't know if they were using an RNG strategy or just a simple predictable one.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @07:55AM (#40465627)

      I don't believe you. I think you're describing what you would have *liked* to have done, but you didn't actually do this.

      1) A random response is not "the game-theoretic optimal strategy" to a random opponent. It may be *an* optimal strategy by some limited definition, but no computer scientist would speak so loosely. And random number generation is certainly not the *fastest* strategy. You just wanted to use the term "game-theoretic optimal strategy".

      2) If the bot is playing truly randomly then you cannot "beat" it easily, let alone do slightly above average "with a bit of work". Otherwise you're just exploiting its non-randomness.

      3) You had access to the source code for "several popular" C libraries? (Most even wrote their code in C?)

      4) You would guess the random seed (by assuming a reasonably accurate system time), sequence offset, processing strategy AND algorithm used? Really? Give us some details. The input domain here is multidimensionally huge. Even assuming most people use insecure PRNG, you could still automagically identify "most" of those opponents' algorithms?

      Unless your competitors mostly did srand(time(0)) and then equally partitioned the rand() output domain into contiguous R, P and S intervals - which would mean that no-one took the competition seriously - your task would take an age.

      • by nneonneo (911150)

        0) I have source code for my bot, the tourney announcement, and the tourney results. If you are really curious, ping me at my email address.

        1) I never said you were *playing* a random opponent. Against an *arbitrary* opponent your optimal strategy is to play randomly. Any other strategy that you play can be exploited to your loss. In this way, random really is the game-theoretic optimal strategy. It's not just a buzzword.

        2) Of course. I'm exploiting an implementation detail. This is a classic side-channel a

    • by Rich0 (548339)

      I'd think that unless you were playing a very large number of rounds such that you could infer the opponent's PRNG function and seed, or unless the opponent PRNG was REALLY bad, this would not work.

      Maybe if the seed were the time to the nearest hour you might be OK. However, if it used time to a millisecond then you'd have almost no chance of success. Any decent PRNG will show what would appear to be completely different behavior with even a slightly different seed.

      Now, if the PRNG were really lousy maybe

  • Could you develop a feint move [wikipedia.org] that looks as though you are going for one thing but actually going for the other?
    • by dargaud (518470)

      Could you develop a feint move [wikipedia.org] that looks as though you are going for one thing but actually going for the other?

      That's the 1st thing that came to my mind. You pull your hand out as a rock, then halfway out you switch to cissors and cut your opponent's paper. It wouldn't work against a human, but in this case it would. Cheating a cheater is no cheating at all.

  • Maybe men can find a better use for a robotic hand that's dextrous and fast enough for rock-paper-scissors? If Howard Wolowitz had one of these, maybe he could've avoided that embarrassing hospital trip?

  • Seriously, now that robots beat us in every significant ability (this one was the last missing) we can't control the future anymore.
  • news at 11.

  • "But sir, nobody worries about upsetting a droid."
    "That's 'cause droids don't pull people's arms out of their sockets when they lose. Wookiees are known to do that."

Just because he's dead is no reason to lay off work.

Working...