If you thought leisure activities were safe from a robot takeover, you might want to watch OptoFidelity’s robot play Angry Birds.
This particular machine can’t walk or talk, but it can fling avian avatars into plump pigs with ease. The robot was programmed ahead of time by humans, so don’t get too freaked out. It just happens to have the soft touch necessary to commandeer a virtual slingshot.
When they’re not procrastinating with Angry Birds, OptoFidelity’s robots test the performance of touch panels in mobile devices. Once the team had figured out the best path through each level, programming the robot to play along was relatively easy.
But not all robots need a human overlord to play video games. Last year, a programmer rigged up a Lego NXT robot to play Tetris without supervision, using a webcam to parse out what was happening on the screen. That’s the kind of self-awareness that makes me want to see game-playing robots go head-to-head with chimpanzees.