Yaskawa robot makes the cuts like human master in sword demo (w/ Video)

Yaskawa robot makes the cuts like human master in sword demo (w/ Video)

Awareness, focus, precision, speed—highly desirable qualities not only for human workers but for robots. Yaskawa Electric Corporation recently issued a video that is turning heads as to just what present-day robotics engineers can accomplish.

They have presented a video showing what happens when their —Motoman MH24—is placed in competition with a world-famous sword master. Welcome to a Yaskawa challenge, featuring a robot and human expert engaging in a display of skills around bamboo poles. Essentially, this is a challenge where viewers can witness the performance reach of a modern-day industrial robot. Qualities such as "agility," "accuracy" and "flexibility" were on trial—could the robot stand up to the real sword master?

The video shows a team member readying the Motoman-MH24 industrial robot. ("Motoman" is actually the company's line of Motoman industrial robots and robotic systems.)

In comes Isao Machii, iaijutsu ( a sword technique cultivated from ancient times) Master, and five-time world record holder. As a sword technique, iaijutsu teaches how to draw quickly. Machii's fans worldwide know him for his feats, and supporters say he can take the level of eye/hand coordination higher than anyone else. Case in point: his having cut a speeding bullet in mid-air with his sword. At a firing range outside the hills of Los Angeles, he was shown a BB gun pellet which he was to slice with his sword. He did.

The Malay Mail Online said the robot and Machii were surrounded by a manmade bamboo grove "and to make it even more authentic, the MH24 was equipped with a real katana, made in the Edo period." (The Japanese sword, katana, is a martial art discipline in the education of the classical warrior. The katana is a work of high craftsmanship.)

"We analyzed Machii's sword technique in 3D," said the company team. They reproduced the movements in their industrial robot. Test sequences carried out to test the skills of Machii against the robot's were to cut in four directions; a diagonal cut; rising cut; horizontal cut; and the show-stopper, a thousand cuts.

"While Machii looks visibly tired towards the end of the final '1000 cuts' scene, his mechanical counterpart could probably go on for at least an extra 2000," commented Emiko Jozuka in Motherboard.

The video is entertaining, and it serves a strategic purpose too, to remind the company's customers and potential customers about their engineering talent. The Malay Mail Online noted that the video appears as the company celebrates its centennial. "What better way to commemorate it than by a video that highlights its top-end Motoman-MH24 robot?"

Yaskawa competes in the international automation market. Today, according to Japanista, Yaskawa produces machines for handling complex tasks, which range from assembly to welding, and from painting to surgery.


Explore further

Boston Dynamics unveils latest robot quadruped 'Spot' (w/ Video)

© 2015 Tech Xplore

Citation: Yaskawa robot makes the cuts like human master in sword demo (w/ Video) (2015, June 6) retrieved 19 September 2019 from https://techxplore.com/news/2015-06-yaskawa-robot-human-master-sword.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
2402 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

HTK
Jun 06, 2015
samurais are over rated!

Seriously, mongols thrashed them easily and no don't give me that group attack.

Think of putting samurais with wu shu fighters. game over

Jun 06, 2015
BS promo. He should be ashamed to be helping in this. Robot does not react to anything and probably doesnt even see what it is hitting. More likely they put that rose in the exact position they knew the robot was programmed to swing. This demonstration proves nothing at all.

Jun 06, 2015
A robot can swing a sword? How truly amazing!

(that's sarcasm folks - there's no story here at all)

Jun 06, 2015
samurais are over rated!

Seriously, mongols thrashed them easily and no don't give me that group attack.

Think of putting samurais with wu shu fighters. game over


Samurai are in Japan
Mongols are not Mongolians.
Mongols are on the Asian steppe (to Poland in the 12th century).

You want to try that again?

Jun 06, 2015
The human has cleaner cuts; he slices through the object without moving it, the machine hacks more like a machete. The difference might be in blade sharpness.

Jun 06, 2015
BS promo. He should be ashamed to be helping in this. Robot does not react to anything and probably doesnt even see what it is hitting. More likely they put that rose in the exact position they knew the robot was programmed to swing. This demonstration proves nothing at all.


The robot was doing the same motions as the guy, literally. The put sensors on the guy and the robot faithfully executed the exact same motions. It isn't a sci-fi robot, it's a factory robot designed to repeat a single task over and over. In this case, the task they programmed into it was precise sword swings.

The demonstration proves the robot can faithfully execute high speed precision movements.

Jun 07, 2015
BS promo. He should be ashamed to be helping in this. Robot does not react to anything and probably doesnt even see what it is hitting. More likely they put that rose in the exact position they knew the robot was programmed to swing. This demonstration proves nothing at all.


The robot was doing the same motions as the guy, literally. The put sensors on the guy and the robot faithfully executed the exact same motions. It isn't a sci-fi robot, it's a factory robot designed to repeat a single task over and over. In this case, the task they programmed into it was precise sword swings.

The demonstration proves the robot can faithfully execute high speed precision movements.


Machines could execute pre-programmed high speed precision movements 50 years ago. If it isnt modifying the action in any way, then it isnt "like a human master". The only thing new this shows is the method of pre-programming using sensors connected to the samurai.

Jun 07, 2015
His cuts were cleaner because they were made using a skillful technique the robot couldn't copy(actually, the programmer's couldn't copy). Which is why he's a Master. I bet Ol' John Henry'd like to meet that bot, lol!

Jun 08, 2015
Machines could execute pre-programmed high speed precision movements 50 years ago.

The point here is the technique. These are very smooth, complex 3D motions with high repeatability. This isn't trivial for robots because with a naive approach where you just give every joint a predefined start and end position (feed forward control) will result in every repetition of the robot being slightly different. This is due to mechanical slippage in the joints. The error which adds up over the number of joints in the robot. The more joints the more difficult it is to limit this error.

To get it as good as in the video you need feedback control. Doing this with high accuracy and high precision is not trivial.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more