Ping-pong-pow! Over-the-top ad shows robot playing table tennis at human level

Mike Krumboltz

Hollywood has taught us that robots are better than humans at a lot of things, including war ("Terminator"), love ("A.I."), policing post-apocalyptic Detroit ("RoboCop"), and cracking wise with Steve Guttenberg ("Short Circuit").

But, according to this over-the-top advertisement from Kuka Robotics, the human race still has the upper hand when it comes to table tennis. It ain't much, but we'll take it.

Full ad below:

In the ad, professional table tennis player Timo Boll does battle with a long-limbed robot from Kuka. At first, the robot appears to have Boll's number, blasting shots past the apparently overwhelmed Boll (remember this is an ad, so take everything with two barrels of salt).

But then, like Rocky fighting off a relentless Ivan Drago, Boll mounts a comeback for the ages, eventually besting the robotic limb. At the end of the spot, the screen reads, "Not the best in table tennis. But probably the best in robotics.”

Also, not the best when it comes to sportsmanship. Notice how the robot leaves a victorious Boll hanging? Lame!

Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).

Related: Caltech students battle for bragging rights with their robots.