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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:25 PM
Original message
Pool-playing robot Deep Green 'will be unbeatable'
A pool-playing robot that its creators claim will soon be better than any snooker-hall shark has brought us one step closer to the day the machines take over.
By Tom Chivers
Published: 11:33AM BST 22 Sep 2009


Developed by researchers at Queens University in Ontario, Canada, Deep Green is an industrial gantry robot, like those used in car manufacturing plants, equipped with a cue and camera and hung over a standard pool table.

Using a digital camera in the gantry, it assesses the positions of the balls and determines a shot. It then uses a secondary camera to sight along the line of the cue, comparing it with the overhead image to establish the perfect shot.

It is more than a simple angle-selecting machine, however. Like a human pool player it thinks several shots ahead, but unlike the humans it has a full Newtonian physics simulator in its software. As the Queens University team say, pool is an ideal game for automation. It's only a matter of time before it can consistently run the table.

<snip>

Second, it includes an augmented reality pool mode, which like a computer pool simulation projects the ideal shot on the baize, giving human players a fighting chance. It will work out incident angles for all the balls struck, leaving you with nothing to do other than judging the speed of the shot and keeping your hand steady.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AENJxqR0g48

More:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/6217900/Pool...






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Vinnie From Indy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. It had better be careful!
It just just might get it's little mechanical thumbs broken if tries that shit around here!
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HopeHoops Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
2. Anyone who hustles tables would be able to stay a step ahead.
If you play it right, you can go an entire game without giving your opponent a clean shot. Parking balls on pockets and neatly depositing the leave in a clusterfuck of balls will undermine a rules-based machine. Straight Newtonian physics is of course useful in pool, but it won't get you out of some jams. I doubt this machine will ever figure out how to strike a rail at 15 degrees off of normal and have the cue spin and run down the rail as if it had been shot that way in the first place. Actually, the chance of a human making a TRULY Newtonian physics shot is fairly low. You always add some sort of character to the shot even when you don't intend to do so. That's the nature of the game.

Now as for "stupid pool table tricks", I'm sure this thing will be the best in history.

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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. good points. didn't think of that.
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CanSocDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. Bar pool is about hustling 'people'....


...not machines. But, you're right. If a hustler ever allowed his or herself to get into a game with this thing, your game plan sounds about right. It might take a little longer for this opponent to 'blow a fuse', that's all.

And furthermore....Little attention seemed to be put on controlling the cue ball.

Humans that can do masterful masse shots scare the hell outa me. I won't bet against them.

.

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HopeHoops Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. I never bet - don't gamble. I've never even bought a lottery ticket.
The lottery is a tax on people who are bad in math.

What I do is hold the table and play as long as I want. It is best when my wife and I play partners. I play drunken monk and miss my shots, but what I'm really doing is covering pockets and setting her up. When all is looking good, I drop a nice sucker shot in place for the opponent. They get two or three in, start to feel confident, and then my wife cleans up the table in one turn.

"NEXT!"

We can play all night on our initial dollar.

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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. That's what I used to say until "Vinny the Butcher" took me under his wing as apprentice
He was an older Italian guy who I thought was mafia connected, and for some reason, he decided he wanted to teach me. I liked hanging out with him.

Anyway, he refused to play me unless I bet him. I could be $5 or a drink or more. But his philosophy was that if there was no money on the table, he wouldn't get my best game.

After a year or so, learned that he was called "the butcher" not because of crime, but because he owned a small meat packing business. He actually was a butcher!

I watched him slowly sicken of lung cancer, all the while urging me to stop smoking, which I eventually did, and one day we, his cronies were told he had died. I also don't play pool anymore because of a back operation.
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guitar man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #2
20. 100% correct
It's as much or more about how bad you leave your opponent as the shots you make that wins a pool game :thumbsup:
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
3. I would think a program for playing pool would be easier than a chess one
It's all angles, force and velocity.
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Winterblues Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Every table is a bit different
Some cushions are softer, some felt stretched a little tighter, some cue tips need a bit more chalk, some less. Playing pool is more than just angles and speed.
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HopeHoops Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. LOLOL! Put that fucker on a college bar pool table!
I doubt they programmed it for the "miniature golf" nature of those things. There's the lack of leveling (after they've been picked up and bounced a few times to dislodge stuck balls in the return). The corners usually sag from fat bastards sitting on them. Cigarette burn marks, beer hazards, fresh and crusty, and then there's the "you don't want to know about it" stain in the middle of the table. Lets see your fucking Newtonian physics figure THAT shit out!

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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Ok, ok. No reason to be nasty. This is in fact why I'm the worlds' worst pool player.
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HopeHoops Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Hey, if you want to be good, practice on the NASTIEST table you can find.
If you can play on that, you can REALLY play on a good table. It is like learning to drive in a dinky Toyota with bad brakes and loose steering and then getting behind the wheel of a Lincoln.



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TxRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
15. It's far from just that
It's the table, each is different.

It's also strategy, not leaving an opponent a clear shot.

I don't believe their claim it will always be able to beat a human.

Most of the time yes, not always.
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. I didn't factor into the whole "leave a bad shot" thing.
But technically the AI could be programmed for that too. Also the computer may be able to analyze the different variables of the table that a human could only guess at. Be a great little experiment that's for sure.
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TxRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Then there's putting english on the ball, jump shots etc...
Basically, a good shark would be studying the limitations of the AI, first of which is a lack of abstract thought.

Sure it shoots well, but does it shoot well enough to overcome it's lack of ability in other areas?
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. If it is a learning machine like the backgammon Ai, then it will soon be unbeatable
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Backgammon is far more reliant on luck. Wouldn't it be? The game with dice right?
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
5. Yeah, but can it be snookered into taking balls of the table?
As Fast Eddie says, ""Pool excellence is not about excellent pool -- It is about being a student of human moves."

How well you play means nothing. It's how well you can hustle your opponent.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
7. I happened to catch a report on a robotic prosthesis this past Sunday
I'm not sure why so much research is focused on robots performing trivial tasks (from playing pool to playing the trumpet.) :shrug:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-10217855-76.html
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
13. It breaks the 'one foot on the ground' rule
If you're going to have humans compete against a machine in a physical game, then the machine should have to obey similar rules; so it should be a free-standing machine, rather than hung above it; and capable of leaving the table.

It'd be interesting to know how well it plays snooker, where there's more tactics involved.
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TxRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
16. If you want to see something that is scary
Think about the department of defense and where they will take this technology...

Can you say terminator?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KxjVlaLBmk
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. Jim Cameron is either a prophet or already working for Skynet.
Wish they had terminated that last movie though. Ugh.
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Juche Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
21. Best quote
Like a human pool player it thinks several shots ahead, but unlike the humans it has a full Newtonian physics simulator in its software.



LOL. I like that one for some reason.
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. Some people have it in their heads they just can't process it at 3GHZ.
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