There was a World Series of Beer Pong (what?) in Las Vegas (naturally) and the champions were challenged to play a game against a robot.
Let’s rewind for a second. Empire Robotics’ VERSABALL robot has already been praised for its impressive grip capabilities, but its accuracy was recently put to the test in a beer pong demonstration.
The World Series of Beer Pong winners split a $50,000 grand prize for playing by very odd official rules. Leaning, elbows, and all kinds of chicanery are allowed and the cups are filled with water. Bros and Ryan Cabreras alike converge on Las Vegas each year to show off their...skills.
Since the World Series of Beer Pong ended right as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was ramping up, Empire Robotics decided to goad the new World Champions of Beer Pong, Kristopher Fraser and Mike Vitielo, into playing a few games with the VERSABALL.
Unfortunately, Fraser and Vitielo already had plane tickets back to New Jersey and could not make an appearance at CES.
The tournament's head official and winner of the 2014 Beer Pong World Cup in Hong Kong (yes, this is also very real), Daniel Grover, stepped up to the plate to represent the profession. He won the very first game, making him one of five people who claimed a victory during day 1 of CES.
Then, he lost 6 in a row. In the official best-of-three match, the VERSABALL came out on top 3-0.
As you can see in one of Grover’s games, the robot doesn’t always make a cup, but it definitely misses less than its human counterparts.
"I assumed I would have to shoot perfectly myself for a chance to win," said Grover, who had seen the VERSABALL's perfect game online. "It was not until I got to CES that I realized the robot could miss too."
The fact that the VERSABALL can't get drunk does make for slightly unfair human gameplay (and sadness for robots who just want to get turnt), but Grover cited the dryness of the ping pong balls as well as differences in cup size and throwing distance as valid reasons any professional would have trouble adjusting.
The 2015 World Champions of Beer Pong could not be reached for comment.