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WATCH: The Robot That Will Beat You at Beer Pong

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Empire Robotics‘ Versaball robot has been hailed for its ability to grip a multitude of objects in a unique way: by using a giant inflatable sand-filled ball attached to a robot arm.

Last January, Wired laid out the way the robot works, as well as its fascinating potential applications in factory assembly and prosthetics:

His $4,000 “jamming gripper” embodies the latest in robotics theory, but is essentially a lime green balloon filled with industrial-grade granules. The green blob presses itself against an object and deforms around it. A pump then sucks the air out of the balloon which locks the granules in position and clamps down on the object. Within a tenth of a second it can seize anything from tiny Lego bricks to shards of broken glass and can easily handle objects that weigh up to 20 pounds.

Wired notes that the robot is perfect for factory-line work, though roboticist John Amend says the machine could be a perfect futuristic prosthetic hand.

The applications are practically limitless…which is why Empire Robotics has programmed the robot to be a beer pong phenom.

According to TechCrunch, Empire Robotics will be bringing the Versaball to the 2015 CES technology conference this week in Las Vegas to have attendees take on the robot in an “old-fashioned” game of beer pong.

The robotics company released a video showing off the machine’s skill at the popular party game. The robot never missed a shot.

Aside from its technical prowess, the machine has another big advantage on its human opponents: it doesn’t catch a buzz after losing a few rounds.

There’s still no word on whether the machine abides by the rollback rule, or if it can keep its elbows behind the line.

Check out the video of the machine tearing it up below:

Video and photo courtesy Empire Robotics


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