A truly random game of rock-paper-scissors would result in a statistical tie with each player winning, tying and losing one-third of the time. However, people are not truly random and thus can be studied and analyzed.
Take this rock-paper-scissors robot from the Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory in Tokyo, for example. It’s never lost a game against a human. That’s right, it has a 100% win rate.
Here’s how the robot, named Janken, works. The robot relies on high-speed vision to anticipate and counter its opponent. In just one millisecond, Janken records the gesture played by the human’s hand as it starts to make a shape, and then Janken makes the appropriate counter-move.
Essentially, before you’ve even thrown rock, paper or scissors, the robot has already beaten you.
This is the third version of the Janken rock-paper-scissors robot, and the Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory says it shows the potential of future cooperation work between humans and robots without a time delay. Check out the robot in action below. And run for the hills if you’re a rock-paper-scissors pro.