omron

About FORPHEUS

About FORPHEUS

State-of-the-art technology that embodies "the futurewhen mankind and machines are reconciled"

FORPHEUS is State-of-the-art technology that embodies the world of "harmony" where machines can bring out human ability. You can experience the future of mankind and machines that OMRON aims through a rally.

The name FORPHEUS comes from "Future Omron Robotics technology for Exploring Possibility of Harmonized aUtomation with Sinic theoretics". A coined term embodying OMRON's robot technologies based on its unique future prediction theory "SINIC theoretics". It is also a combination of "For" and "ORPHEUS (a bard in Greek mythology as a symbol of human creativity)", representing OMRON's attitude of bringing out human creativity and possibility.

OMRON assumes three stages, from the past to the future, in a relationship between humans and machines. The 1st stage is one of "replacement" by machines of tasks that need not be done by human. The Omron history mirrors this history, as we introduced factory automation, automated ticket gates, and other inventions.


The 2nd stage is "collaboration" between humans and machines, which is currently progressing in the world. An example of this is a production line where humans and robots work together, each performing the most suitable task to increase productivity. Another example is the Omron collision-prevention technology that supports our vision of a collision-free mobile society.

And now, the relationship is reaching to the 3rd stage, "harmony" between humans and machines, that extends human capabilities. As machines become a more integral part of society, humans will enjoy machine support in a number of new and different ways that extend the potential of human capabilities. As with FORPHEUS, machines will emerge in every domain that can bring out human capabilities and possibilities.

State-of-the-art technology that embodies "the future when mankind and machines are reconciled"

FORPHEUS is State-of-the-art technology that embodies the world of "harmony" where machines can bring out human ability. You can experience the future of mankind and machines that OMRON aims through a rally.

The name FORPHEUS comes from "Future Omron Robotics technology for Exploring Possibility of Harmonized aUtomation with Sinic theoretics". A coined term embodying OMRON's robot technologies based on its unique future prediction theory "SINIC theoretics". It is also a combination of "For" and "ORPHEUS (a bard in Greek mythology as a symbol of human creativity)", representing OMRON's attitude of bringing out human creativity and possibility.

OMRON assumes three stages, from the past to the future, in a relationship between humans and machines. The 1st stage is one of "replacement" by machines of tasks that need not be done by human. The Omron history mirrors this history, as we introduced factory automation, automated ticket gates, and other inventions.


FORPHEUS keeps evolving with the state-of-the-art technologies as a symbol of a relationship between mankind and machines in the future.

人と機械の最適な調和


FORPHEUS keeps evolving with the state-of-the-art technologies as a symbol of a relationship between mankind and machines in the future.

The world's first state-of-the-art technology that can bring out human ability

Amazing Techniques of "FORPHEUS"

FORPHEUS has various amazing techniques so that
a human opponent can enjoy a long rally with it while gradually becoming proficient.
We'll introduce its amazing techniques with FORPHEUS displayed in CEATEC JAPAN 2015.
In addition, it is now under special training to learn new abilities for this year's CEATEC!
Please stay tuned on FORPHEUS in the future that can bring out human abilities and possibilities.

Amazing technologies of FORPHEUS

Amazing technology (1)

Amazing technology (2)

Amazing technology (3)

Amazing technology (4)

Amazing technology (5)

Amazing technology (1)

Eyes that can see the ball in three dimensions like mankind

Two cameras, left and right, can recognize a ping pong ball in three dimensions like human eyes, as fast as 80 times per second.

×

Amazing technology (2)

Predictive capability that can detect the course of the ball

Based on its calculations of 80 times per second, it deduces the ball's velocity and rotation and precisely predicts the course.

When a human opponent hits the ball, the robot instantly calculates the course (red). It moves the racket to a position on the course where it can easily return the ball. Also, it calculates the course of the ball hit by itself (blue) to deduce a velocity and position for the opponent to easily return the ball, e.g. it may return the ball in an arched line for a novice.

Prediction ability to perceive where the ball goes

×

Amazing technology (3)

Brain of FORPHEUS that determines how to hit the ball

FORPHEUS controls a timing and direction to swing the racket in a precision of 1/1000 second. An error of return is only 10cm. It adopts the controller of OMRON's NJ series used for various production facilities in factories. It also utilizes OMRON's state-of-the-art technologies for its touch panel to startup and mode switching as well as the motion controller to actuate motors.

×

Amazing technology (4)

FORPHEUS's arm is an industrial machine "parallel link robot" mainly used for product packaging.

Five-axis motors start moving based on the brain's commands to swing the racket. The arm, receiving commands such as setting up the racket and hitting the ball from its brain, is controlled in a 0.1mm precision.

×

Amazing technology (5)

The ping pong table that tells where the ball comes

The table indicates a direction in which FORPHEUS is going to hit the ball and a position on which the ball is going to hit the table before the robot actually hits the ball.

×

Amazing technologies of FORPHEUS

Amazing technologies of the 3rd-generation FORPHEUS

Amazing technology (1)

Eyes that can see the ball in three dimensions like mankind

Two cameras, left and right, can recognize a ping pong ball in three dimensions like human eyes, as fast as 80 times per second.

Amazing technology (2)

Predictive capability that can detect the course of the ball

Based on its calculations of 80 times per second, it deduces the ball's velocity and rotation and precisely predicts the course.

When a human opponent hits the ball, the robot instantly calculates the course (red). It moves the racket to a position on the course where it can easily return the ball. Also, it calculates the course of the ball hit by itself (blue) to deduce a velocity and position for the opponent to easily return the ball, e.g. it may return the ball in an arched line for a novice.

Predictive capability that can detect the course of the ball

Amazing technology (3)

The FORPHEUS's brain that determines how it hits the ball

FORPHEUS controls a timing and direction to swing the racket in a precision of 1/1000 second. An error of return is only 10cm. It adopts the controller of OMRON's NJ series used for various production facilities in factories. It also utilizes OMRON's state-of-the-art technologies for its touch panel to startup and mode switching as well as the motion controller to actuate motors.

The FORPHEUS's brain that determines how it hits the ball

Amazing technology (4)

The arm that moves quickly based on commands from its brain

FORPHEUS's arm is an industrial machine "parallel link robot" mainly used for product packaging.

Five-axis motors start moving based on the brain's commands to swing the racket. The arm, receiving commands such as setting up the racket and hitting the ball from its brain, is controlled in a 0.1mm precision.

スゴ技5

The ping pong table that tells where the ball comes

The table indicates a direction in which FORPHEUS is going to hit the ball and a position on which the ball is going to hit the table before the robot actually hits the ball.

The world's first state-of-the-art technology that can bring out human ability

Amazing Techniques of
"FORPHEUS"

The robot FORPHEUS that will improve your table tennis skills while having fun at the same time by keeping a rally going.
In addition to the conventional function to control returning the ball according to the trajectory and strength of the player's ball, the 3rd-generation FORPHEUS is equipped with new amazing technologies where humans and machines grow together by using AI (Artificial Intelligence) technologies.
It can learn about characteristics of the player's actions and the trajectory of the ball and keep a rally going, which guides a person to make more progress.
Furthermore, the degree of harmony between the player and the machine has been made visible through the rally.

Amazing technology

Amazing technology (1)

Amazing technology (2)

Amazing technology (3)

Amazing technology (4)

Amazing technology (5)

Amazing technology (6)

Amazing technology (7)

Amazing technology (1)

Three eyes that capture the ball three-dimensionally and recognize a person

With the right and left cameras, FORPHEUS recognizes the ball three-dimensionally in the same way as the eyes of a person do.It captures the ball at a speed of 80 times a second.Furthermore, another camera has been added to the central part.It recognizes the characteristics of the player by capturing the bone structure of the person's body.It also estimates whether the person is a good player or a beginner.

Amazing technology (1)

×

Amazing technology (2)

Prediction ability to perceive where the ball goes

FORPHEUS calculates the speed and spin of the ball at a speed of 80 times a second and accurately predicts the orbit of the ball.

It calculates the orbit at the moment when the player hits the ball (red orbit).It moves the racket to an easy-to-hit position on the orbit and returns the ball.Furthermore, it calculates the orbit of the ball that FORPHEUS itself hits (blue orbit) and calculates the speed and place of returning the ball by hitting an arched ball for a beginner so that the player can easily hit it.

Amazing technology (2)

×

Amazing technology (3)

AI that improves itself by learning about characteristics of a person and the path of a ball.

FORPHEUS learns about characteristics of a person through the rally.It plays a rally suitable for each person by determining his or her skill level from the body information of the person, the trajectory of the ball, and the way of swinging the racket, and by changing the method of returning the ball based on accumulated data.

×

Amazing technology (4)

Brain of FORPHEUS that determines how to hit the ball

Amazing technology (4)

FORPHEUS controls the swing timing and direction of its racket in 1/1000 second units.The error of returning the ball is only ±5 cm.Omron NJ Series is used as a controller to operate various production facilities in a factory.

×

Amazing technology (5)

An arm that moves at high speed by receiving command from the brain

"Parallel link robot", an industrial robot used for packing products, etc. is the arm of FORPHEUS.A motor with five shafts moves to swing the racket upon receiving the command from the brain.It controls the arm that receives the command from the brain in 0.1 mm units, and thereby holds the racket and hits the ball.

×

Amazing technology (6)

A gauge for the degree of harmony that tells the sense of integration of humans and machines

FORPHEUS calculates the degree of harmony (synchronization rate) based on the smile on the player, the degree of growth through the rally, and the stress placed on FORPHEUS.We can know with numerical values how much we have enjoyed the rally and how much the machine has become intimate with the person.

Amazing technology (6)

×

Amazing technology (7)

A net that conveys thoughts of FORPHEUS

The degree of harmony between humans and machines and the message from FORPHEUS are displayed in the net part.It inspires motivation of the player and promotes the person's growth by conveying intentions of FORPHEUS and showing understanding to the player.

Amazing technology (7)

×

Amazing Techniques of FORPHEUS

Amazing technologies of the 2nd-generation FORPHEUS

Amazing technology (1)

Three eyes that capture the ball three-dimensionally and recognize a person

With the right and left cameras, FORPHEUS recognizes the ball three-dimensionally in the same way as the eyes of a person do.It captures the ball at a speed of 80 times a second.Furthermore, another camera has been added to the central part.It recognizes the characteristics of the player by capturing the bone structure of the person's body.It also estimates whether the person is a good player or a beginner.

Three eyes that capture the ball three-dimensionally and recognize a person

Amazing technology (2)

Prediction ability to perceive where the ball goes

FORPHEUS calculates the speed and spin of the ball at a speed of 80 times a second and accurately predicts the orbit of the ball.It calculates the orbit at the moment when the player hits the ball (red orbit).It moves the racket to an easy-to-hit position on the orbit and returns the ball.Furthermore, it calculates the orbit of the ball that FORPHEUS itself hits (blue orbit) and calculates the speed and place of returning the ball by hitting an arched ball for a beginner so that the player can easily hit it.

Prediction ability to perceive where the ball goes

Amazing technology (3)

AI that improves itself by learning about characteristics of a person and the path of a ball.

FORPHEUS learns about characteristics of a person through the rally.It plays a rally suitable for each person by determining his or her skill level from the body information of the person, the trajectory of the ball, and the way of swinging the racket, and by changing the method of returning the ball based on accumulated data. For various controls and adjustments beyond human limitation, FORPHEUS has made it possible to improve the accuracy of returning the ball up to ±5cm by using the deep learning of AI.

Amazing technology (4)

Brain of FORPHEUS that determines how to hit the ball

FORPHEUS controls the swing timing and direction of its racket in 1/1000 second units.The error of returning the ball is only ±5 cm.Omron NJ Series is used as a controller to operate various production facilities in a factory.

Brain of FORPHEUS that determines how to hit the ball

Amazing technology (5)

An arm that moves at high speed by receiving command from the brain

"Parallel link robot", an industrial robot used for packing products, etc. is the arm of FORPHEUS. A motor with five shafts moves to swing the racket upon receiving the command from the brain.It controls the arm that receives the command from the brain in 0.1 mm units, and thereby holds the racket and hits the ball.

Amazing technology (6)

A gauge for the degree of harmony that tells the sense of integration of humans and machines

FORPHEUS calculates the degree of harmony (synchronization rate) based on the smile on the player, the degree of growth through the rally, and the stress placed on FORPHEUS.We can know with numerical values how much we have enjoyed the rally and how much the machine has become intimate with the person.

A gauge for the degree of harmony that tells the sense of integration of humans and machines

Amazing technology (7)

A net that conveys thoughts of FORPHEUS

The degree of harmony between humans and machines and the message from FORPHEUS are displayed in the net part.It inspires motivation of the player and promotes the person's growth by conveying intentions of FORPHEUS and showing understanding to the player.

A net that conveys thoughts of FORPHEUS

Everyone can become a good ping-pong player by playing ping-pong with the robot.
What is the state-of-the-art technology incorporated in the robot?

OMRON's "SINIC theory"
is rooted
in FORPHEUS.

“SINIC theoretics” is an epochal future prediction theory proposed by Kazuma Tateisi, the founder of OMRON, that accurately predicted social scenarios till the first half of the 21st century such as an advent of an information society. Since its announcement in 1970, it has been a compass of OMRON's management and the concept of FORPHEUS symbolizing the future man-machine relationship is invented by the theoretics.


SINIC stands for “Seed-Innovation to Need-Impetus Cyclic Evolution”. “SINIC theoretics” assumes a circular relationship among “science”, "technology", and "society" which mutually affect. A new science generates a new technology that gives an impact on a society and works as an engine to change the society. And a social need urges development of a new technology that generates a new science. They affect one another, contributing to a future society. That's what the theoretics says. It defines a society in the 1st half of 21st century as an "autonomous society" in an ideal harmony of mankind and machines, attaching importance to human life style and self-realization, instead of pursuit of productivity and efficiency. It predicts that mankind then will place much value on more essential desires including a healthy and happy long life as well as comfortable living.

SINIC theoretics

×

Extracting necessary information from sites (Sensing)

tilizing OMRON's unique knowledge for data accumulated at sites (+Think)
Utilizing OMRON's unique knowledge for data accumulated at sites (+Think)
Providing solutions to sites (Control)

Creating a society of year 2033!
Closing up
the development leader of FORPHEUS

We interviewed with three leaders of FORPHEUS's development
about future technology images as well as expectations and challenges in the development.

History of FORPHEUS's growth ~ From a rallying ping pong robot to entity growing together with humans with AI ~
 [Part 1 of 3] Develop a machine that can achieve a goal together with humans in six months!
 [Part 2 of 3] Materialize the future machines to motivate humans
 [part 3 of 3] Humans and machines can grow together with AI (artificial intelligence)

Together with machines, humans can experience more joy in their lives

An episode about a father and his daughter to strengthen family bonds

Click here for inquiries regarding FORPHEUS
click