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They Did What?: 

Robot beats sword master to become real-life fruit ninja champion


Isao Machii is a Japanese sword master whose been described as a “real-life superhero,” known for stunts like slicing a BB pellet in mid-air while it’s traveling 200mph. You might think that’s pretty cool – impressive, even – but a new robot trained by Machii himself has bettered its master and become fruit ninja champion in the process.

The Motorman MH24 is made by the Japan-based Yaskawa Electric Company, more commonly used as warehouse dogsbody tasked with packing and stacking products off the production line. The robot was probably very good at that as well, but, noticing its potential, its creators soon handed Motorman a katana samurai sword and hoped for the best.

Actually, that’s not quite what happened. The sword-fighing super robot was first programmed with all the necessary swipes and slashing movements using motion capture technology, based off Guinness World Record-holder Machii. The robot was soon slicing like a pro, and by the time the below film was shot, it was capable of slicing a runner bean cleanly in half in just one horizontal cut.

While our robotic samurai is clearly very precise, you’ll notice that its teacher still has the edge when it comes to speed. The robot’s pace could no doubt be improved upon, though, and it’s also got stamina on its side – completing the “1,000 cuts” challenge without even breaking into a sweat of malfunctioning wildly out of control.

Admittedly, there doesn’t seem to be any great danger of that happening, but we’d still like to question the logic of giving a sword to a robot, and worse, teaching it how to fight. Next time a robot gets bored of stacking warehouse shelves, let’s teach it something harmless. Like ping pong.

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