Chutzpah, zygote and quixotry are all great words to have to hand when you play Scrabble against your friends.

But would they outsmart a robot? At the world’s largest tech show, CES, people have been trying to outwit the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)’s product at the legendary letters board game. 

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The robot can distinguish between different letters and words and can also perceive distances between the special cube-shaped Scrabble tiles. This allows the robot to pick up the letters and drop them into place without disturbing the board. And the more it plays, the more it learns from its experience.

It even knows how to win magnanimously: in the demo video, the robot graciously picks up a gift and offers it as a consolation prize to the losing player.

“Companion robots can offer more you think,” the research and development company claims, and says they integrate artificial intelligence, 3D vision and eye-hand coordination.

The companion robot can not only play Scrabble, but also pour coffee for its lucky owner. To live up to its companion name, it could also notice a guest sitting down for dinner and provide an extra table setting, the company says.

ITRI says that aside from scrabble this technology could be used for automated loading and unloading and automated inspections.  

ITRI was founded in 1973 and has its headquarters in Taiwan.

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