FORPHEUS returns to Hannover Messe

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Omron Industrial Automation is a leading manufacturer of technologically advanced industrial automation products and application expertise.

For this year’s Hannover Messe, which takes place 1-5 April, we have further developed our “Sensing & Control + THINK” solutions including artificial intelligence for automation – starring the now even smarter FORPHEUS 5.0, the world’s first certified, Guinness-accredited robotic table tennis tutor. FORPHEUS is back in Hannover, equipped with new features that produce a more exciting game.

If you haven’t met FORPHEUS yet, he is a highly-sophisticated robot that uses collaborative gameplay to demonstrate how machines can work together with humans, helping them realize their full potential. FORPHEUS brings the core technology that powers our mission – Sensing & Control + Think.” to life.


The robot uses a vision system featuring 3 cameras, along with a new stereo camera. This allows FORPHEUS to better “sense” the position, speed, and rotation of the ball, how the player moves, and how they move their paddle. FORPHEUS analyzes the player’s movements based on the data collected. This improved sensing lets FORPHEUS play with greater precision, just like an advanced table tennis player. FORPHEUS is a coach as well.  FORPHEUS determines the player’s age, height and skill level, and even the mood he is in while playing and advises the player on how to improve.

In the real world, our advanced sensing technology can detect defective products in a production line, and for example pick and place objects in high-precision robotic applications.


The delta robot and the 6-axis serving robot are industrial robots driven by the latest generation of Omron servo systems. They are controlled by a PLC with integrated artificial intelligence. Its control components bring the racket into position almost in real-time. These advanced motors and controllers respond in microseconds to drive higher-speeds and greater precision and return volleys the player is more likely to hit. In addition, the increased number of control axes and the added wrist and elbow mechanism of the high-speed robotic arm allow for more variation in the trajectory of the ball and the rhythm of returns, making the game even more enjoyable. Paddle grip, ball hit location and arm position are all controlled to within 0.1mm.

With the expanded range of possible movements, the controllers also enable FORPHEUS to handle difficult volleys and returns better, put topspin and backspin on the ball and better cope with complicated gameplay. In fact, FORPHEUS’s moves are not pattern-based and can surprise the human player, and motivate them to keep playing.

Real world application?  Robots can perform complicated tasks that up to now only people could do. Through learning from workers, robots can achieve high-speed and highly accurate processing that has not previously been possible. In addition, these machines can understand and assist human movement.


FORPHEUS takes all the data it collected about the player’s behavior and uses our advanced AI to predict the player’s movements. Then, in microseconds, FORPHEUS adjusts its level of gameplay, compares the player’s skill level with that of an expert, and in real time, coaches the player with useful and relevant advice.

How does that translate to the real world? Manufacturers around the globe are using AI to “think” about their processes and coach them with ways to optimize their manufacturing applications and improve productivity. Robots can assist humans with their artificial intelligence capabilities. In return, humans can teach machines the creative know-how that can lead to evolution of these machines.

To be clear, FORPHEUS isn’t playing against the player. FORPHEUS uses technology to work with him or her, learn from the player, and coach the playe on ways to improve. The test technology in robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are fused together to allow FORPHEUS to accurately sense its surroundings, control its movements, and learn to respond in the most appropriate way in any kind of situation.

Evidently, these skills are as important in factory automation as they are in sports!

See what Human-Machine harmony looks like in action – visit us at Hannover Messe, Hall 9, Stand 24. Get your free ticket here.

You may get a chance to play table tennis with FORPHEUS!

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Omron Europe

Omron Industrial Automation is a leading manufacturer of technologically advanced industrial automation products and application expertise. From its European headquarters in Hoofddorp, near Amsterdam in the Netherlands, she operates locally in every European country and is dedicated to providing unrivaled automation products and customized expert solutions for any industry.

The product portfolio includes state of the art Factory Automation services & Know-How, Sensors and Safety, Mechatronics and Drives, Industrial Components and Vision Systems.

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