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The swordfighting skills of the Japanese samurai are the stuff of legend, but are they in danger of being replaced by robots, like so many others? The MOTOMAN-MH24 robotic arm in this very-well-produced video makes a good case for it, but that's only because it is mimicking exactly the movements of Isao Machii, record-holding master of the Iaijyutsu sword style. Japanese industrial equipment company Yaskawa tracked his motion much the way filmmakers do for computer-generated movies, then fed that information into a highly mobile robot arm. The result is what you see:
Not pictured is the amount of tweaking and redos surely required by the robot, which, powerful and agile as it is, can't automatically adjust mid-swing. Machines like this may be precise, but they lack adaptability. One place it seems to shine is in the final "thousand cuts" section — an endurance slicing match, at the end of which Machii is visibly sweating and winded. The robot, of course, is ready for a thousand more.