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We Would not Want to Fight this Katana-Wielding Samurai Robot

At this point, we’re pretty well-versed in sword-fighting robots: there are the foam-battling Tokyo botsStanford’s metal Jedi – we’ve even seen two bots duke it out with katana before. But Japan’s Yaskawa Electric Corporation (YEC) just took things over 9,000 with the Motoman-MH24, an industrial robot that slices and dices with human-like precision.

The end is near. Prepare to welcome our overlords.

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The MH24 would more likely be seen assembling and packing products, or helping with medical procedures, than playing samurai. But thanks to Japanese master swordsman and five-time world record holder Isao Machii, it’s doing just fine. For reference, Machii is the same man who managed to slice an 80 mph flying shrimp and a 150 mph rubber ball mid-air before they swiftly ended him.

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Machii’s moves were 3D scanned and analyzed by the team at YEC, who then programmed them into his robotic apprentice. The two didn’t battle each other, but rather competed “Iaido style,” performing a number of challenges side by side. It’s hard to call the winner, as neither machine nor man left any prisoners. But as YEC points out, we’re seeing “the pinnacle of robotics meet the peak of humanity,” and it’s unimaginably badass.

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