Robots have already mastered games like chess and Go. Now they're coming for Jenga.

Washington Post 

For several decades, various types of artificial intelligence have been facing off with people in highly competitive games and then quickly destroying their human competition. AI long ago mastered chess, the Chinese board game Go and even the Rubik's cube, which it managed to solve in just 0.38 seconds. Now machines have a new game that will allow them to humiliate humans: Jenga, the popular game ---- and source of melodramatic 1980s commercials ---- in which players strategically remove pieces from an increasingly unstable tower of 54 blocks, placing each one on top until the entire structure collapses. A newly released video from MIT shows a robot developed by the school's engineers playing the game with surprising precision. The machine is quipped with a soft-pronged gripper, a force-sensing wrist cuff and an external camera, allowing the robot to perceive the tower's vulnerabilities the way a human might, according to Alberto Rodriguez, the Walter Henry Gale career development assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. "Unlike in more purely cognitive tasks or games such as chess or Go, playing the game of Jenga also requires mastery of physical skills such as probing, pushing, pulling, placing, and aligning pieces," Rodriguez said in a statement released by the school.