Think you're pretty good at air hockey? Not as good as this robot! Researchers at the Namiki Lab in Chiba University, Japan, have created an unbeatable robot that plays air hockey:
How is it unbeatable? Think of it this way – the robot is tracking the game at a crazy rate of 500 frames per second. This translates to, from the robot’s point of view, the human opponent moving at a laughably slow pace, like the robot seeing the game in a Matrix-style bullet-time.
Apart from that, the computer also uses 3 layers of detection and action systems, using the data from the cameras to decide whether it should hit the puck, defend the goal, or stay still. This system of analyzing data is called Motion Pattern Histogram (MPH). The robot uses this data to estimate whether its opponent is playing aggressively or defensively. Over the course of a game, the robot can detect these MPHs in real-time and compare them with reference patterns to help it figure out what you’re doing.
John Hofilena of Japan Daily Press covered the sad demise of humanity's table hockey dominance: Link