JediBot

Stanford University students using a robotic arm, Microsofts Kinect sensor and some Custom Software have taught a robot how to wield a foam Lightsaber. Can anyone say General Grievous? I knew you could! I know there are currently any number of people out there, right now trying to create a real life Lightsaber, and once they succeed the fine students at Stanford University have already built a robot arm capable of using it wipe out humanity. I always thought the Stanford guys were supposed to be the smart ones. All kidding aside it is some pretty impressive tech

ExtremeTech reports:

The robot arm is pre-programmed with a bunch of “attack moves” and it defends by using the Kinect to track the green lightsaber. To attack, JediBot performs a random attack move, and if it meets resistance — another lightsaber, a skull, some ribs — it recoils and performs another, seemingly random, attack. It can attack once every two to three seconds — so it isn’t exactly punishing, but presumably it would only require a little knob-tweaking to make it a truly killer robot.

To defend, the JediBot uses the Kinect sensor to pick the green lightsaber out of the background (that’s why it isn’t blue), and performs depth analysis to work out where it is in comparison to the robot’s lightsaber. If you watch the video, the tracking is remarkably fast, and it’s probably very hard to actually land a blow on the robot.