The day where a physical team sport is played between humans and robots are still a long way off, and might even seem to be impossible when you think of it (chess does not count!), judging by how slow progress with robots are. Sure, some enterprising folk have thought up of making a robot that steals from vending machines, but to have a bunch of robots playing soccer against the likes of Brazil or Spain, or to head into the World Series finals does seem like an impossible dream at this point in time. Still, we have got to start somewhere, which is why researchers over at the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo and the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology have come up with a tiny humanoid robot which is capable of playing baseball, or at least, it hopes to do so one day.
This baseball robot, which we will call it so for now, is capable of holding a fan-like bat while it takes a swing at flying plastic balls. It might miss the first few times, but those are used to help it learn and adjust its swing accordingly with each new pitch, and eventually, it will be able to make contact – hopefully the pitcher does not drastically change the pitch, of course. This is made possible thanks to the 100,000 neuron artificial brain in the robot that is based on an Nvidia graphics processor.
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