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Badminton-playing rig faces former Olympic table tennis champ


06-20-2016 16:24 BJT

In October last year, the Google developed computer program AlphaGo made headlines when it became the first computer to beat a top human player in the board game Weiqi, known in English as Go. Well now in China, a machine of a different kind is turning heads, and hitting birdies on the badminton court. The launch ceremony for the World Robot Challenge was held yesterday in Beijing, and was attended by some of the country's biggest sporting names.

Basketball Hall of Famer Yao Ming spoke at the event, along with former Olympic table tennis champion Wang Liqin. Also present at the gathering were some major names from the finance, science, and technology sectors. The robots introduced here will soon challenge others from around the world as they travel to the USA, Japan, Israel, and India.

The entire Robot Challenge will be shown on TV, and online, as part of the World Robot Conference. During the launch ceremony in Beijing, Wang played against the badminton robot, which has already won three consecutive titles at in the Asian Pacific Robot Event. Wang feels that in the future, these machines can replace human practice partners in the training of athletes.

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