Rise of the Machines

Human Unexpectedly Beats Robot in Epic Ping Pong Battle

Humankind lives to see another day.

Mr. Boll faces off against his robot nemesis (Screengrab: YouTube)

Mr. Boll faces off against his robot nemesis (Screengrab: YouTube)

Good news, humanfolk: we don’t have to prepare ourselves for the inevitable robot apocalypse quite yet, because a ping pong pro beat a super powerful robot at table tennis yesterday.

As we noted last month, robot manufacturing company KUKA Robotics decided to celebrate the opening of its first plant in Shanghai, China, with a battle royale between ping pong champ Timo Boll and the company’s own “Agilus” robot. We predicted the result might determine whether humans or robots would ultimately win the race for total world domination.

Thankfully Mr. Boll emerged on top, winning the game 11-9, the Mirror reported. Judging by the heavily-edited YouTube footage of the face-off and the catchy “Not the best in table tennis. But probably the best in robotics” catchphrase, the whole thing looks pretty staged, but we’re fine with it — as long as they didn’t let the robot win.

Follow Jordyn Taylor on Twitter or via RSS. jtaylor@observer.com