Japanese robot is invincible - at Rock, Paper, Scissors

Scientists have created a robotic hand which cannot be beaten at the ancient game of Rock, Paper, Scissors

Japanese robot is invincible - at Rock, Paper, Scissors

For years it has been a tried and tested means of solving minor disputes, spawning dozens of additions and causing as many arguments as it resolves.

Now, however, the simple game of Rock, Paper, Scissors has been mastered to perfection - by a robotic arm.

No matter how fast or unpredictable you think you are, it can always offer the winning shape. Created by robotics researchers at the University of Tokyo's Ishikawa Oku Laboratory, it has been programmed to be unbeatable at the game the Japanese know as janken.

Worse yet, the robot is technically breaking the rules. It waits a fraction of a second to see what kind of shape you are forming, and responds accordingly. It's just so fast that you can't tell that it's reading your movements, using a high-speed camera.

The robot makes its move in an instant, finishing just one millisecond later than its human opponent. The team behind it do not envisage a new age of competition between man and machine, however, saying that "This technology is one example that shows a possibility of cooperation control within a few milliseconds. [It] can be applied to motion support of human beings and cooperation between human beings and robots without a time delay."