An army of robotic samurais? Believe it or not, such a ridiculous-sounding thing might soon become possible. In a video recently released by Japanese industrial equipment company Yasakawa, one of hte company’s MOTOMAN-MH24 robotic arms can be seen mimicking the movements of the record-holding master of the Iaijyutsu sword style, Isao Machii.
To demonstrate the robot’s abilities, the company placed motion sensors on Machii’s body and 3D scanned his movements as he sliced through objects with his katana. That information was then analyzed and programmed into the robtic arm, allowing it to replicate Machii’s movements exactly. The precision with which the robotic arm slices objects with the katana can be seen in the video below:
The robot takes on Machii in a number of complicated challenges, such as angled cuts and slicing a runner bean lengthways, and manages to execute them with perfect speed and precision every time.
The robot outdoes Machii in the final “thousand cuts” section — an endurance match which involves slicing a thousand straw mats. While Machii is visibly sweating and tired, the robot on the other hand seems ready for a thousand more. For reference, Machii is the same guy who holds the record for slicing an 80 mph flying shrimp and a 150 mph rubber ball mid-air before they swiftly ended him.
As per the information available on the company’s website the MH24 robot was originally designed for industrial purposes such as assembly, dispensing, material handling, and packaging applications — but that’s clearly not all it can do.
Although the robotic arm is seen precisely replicating Isao’s movement, it must have required good amount of tweaking and re-do’s, to give it the abitlity to automatically adjust mid-swing.
Let’s just hope this sucker doesn’t find itself a set of legs and an artificial brain. We could be in some serious trouble if that happened!