Robot Baseball Players Can Pitch and Bat
Posted on August 1, 2009
With so many stories about steroid use in Baseball over the last few years, one has to wonder if the average person even stands a chance at competing without some sort of edge. And now they’ve got another reason to worry. Out of Japan, there’s a baseball player who has an edge like no other: a fastball-pitching, homer-hitting robot.
The pitching robot fires into the strike zone 90% of the time. It currently throws a plastic foam ball at 25 miles per hour, with hopes to later improve its speed to 93 mph. The team that designed the robot are planning to move the bot’s range of motion beyond fastballs into curveballs and spitballs.
The batting robot hits pitches in the strike zone almost 100% of the time, and does not swing at pitches outside the strike zone. The robots resemble cars with arms rather than human forms.
“The demand level of the robotics technology of each robot is very high,” University of Tokyo professor Masatoshi Ishikawa said. “What was difficult was to create a mechanism to satisfy such a high level of demand.”