Everybody loses in ping pong match between robot and man

When robot maker Kuka announced that it would be pitting its Agilus robot against table tennis star Timo Boll last month, we expected a fair fight. Conditioned professional human athlete against a cold, merciless, bright orange mechanical arm on a small wooden field, both wielding the same armament: a miniature bat. Boll was once ranked world number one, but Kuka claimed its robot was the quickest in the world. The Agilus was named for its lightning-fast movements, and would presumably be able to rapidly spin into position and return Boll’s balls from anywhere on the table.

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