It may sound like something out of a bizarre Sci Fi film, but a company in Japan have taught one of their robots how to wield a Samurai sword, and released a video of the robot competing against a Japanese sword master, Isao Machii.
Robotics engineers at the Yaskawa Electric Company have trained one of their Motoman robots to use a sword, after studying the movements on Isao Machii, and replicating it in the Motoman MH24.
The robot is usually used to pack items and stack pallets, rather than wielding an extremely sharp blade, but demonstrates a series of skills in the video, including having a go at their very own version of Fruit Ninja, by slicing through some oranges.
Isao Machii slices through the orange fairly effortlessly, but up steps the robot and slices through six in a row! Mr Machii is a master in Iaijutsu, which is the art of drawing the sword quickly and killing in one movement. He holds many world records, including the time he sliced pellets fired from BB guns 200 yards away in half!
After this impressive move, the robot then slices a single bean pod almost perfectly in half, which is recorded wonderfully in slow motion.
The final test pits Mr Machii and the robot together in a test to make 1000 cuts into rolled up bamboo matting. Whilst Isao is seen to be visibly tired and has to stop for breaks, the robot carries on slicing! The competition was done as part of the 100 year anniversary of Yaskawa, and was challenging how industrial robots perform, by including accuracy, flexibility and agility to a high level in their performance. Judging by the video (which can be seen here) the robot has most certainly achieved that and more!