Friday, August 12, 2005

Kids battle robot in goldfish-catching contest

Kids battle robot in goldfish-catching contest
* news service
* Will Knight

Catching goldfish might seem like child's play but, for a net-wielding robot, it is an extremely challenging task.

The goldfish-grabbing bot, known as "Poipoi", was developed by researchers at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST), in central Japan. It has been entered into an annual goldfish catching competition for children, which takes place in nearby Yamatokoriyama, on 20 August.

"The city is famous for its goldfish-scooping contest," says NAIST artificial intelligence expert Masatugu Kidode, who adds that Poipoi can catch between six and 10 goldfish in 3 minutes.

Although this falls considerably short of the best human contestants – who can scoop up around 60 fish over the same time – Kidode says Poipoi represents an important step forward for robot-kind.

New Scientist Breaking News - Kids battle robot in goldfish-catching contest

This may bring fans back to the the sport of goldfish dipping after it was disgraced by a scandal in 2003. The superstar champion was caught cheating in the world championship and his team title was revoked.



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