A team of researchers has failed to develop a robot smart enough to get into Japan's top university.

The team, with members from the National Institute of Informatics, said Monday it was abandoning the effort began in 2011 to make a robot able to score well enough on entrance exams to achieve admission into the University of Tokyo, or Todai as it is commonly known.

The researchers had hoped to create by March 2022 an artificial intelligence program capable of making the grade.

The AI program dubbed Todai Robot had steadily improved its academic performance, but the team found a limit in its ability to understand various exam questions.

"AI is not good at answering a type of question that requires the ability to grasp meaning in a broad spectrum," said Noriko Arai, a professor at the National Institute of Informatics.

Todai Robot recently took a version of the unified admission test for national universities but failed to achieve the scores needed to gain admission to the University of Tokyo. Its overall test results were nearly the same as last year.

The researchers now plan to shift their focus to studies related to the academic skills needed for written responses.