Researchers at the University of Tokyo, eager to showcase the astounding progress being made in the high-speed, industrial robot realm, have developed a robot pitcher and a robot batter, both of whom have pretty remarkable technique.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0Fjkzc_gvw&feature=player_embeddedPretty astounding stuff. From Pink Tentacle:The researchers placed the robot pitcher 3.5 meters (11 ft) away from the mechanical batter. The pitcher's 40-kph (25-mph) sidearm throws posed little challenge to the batter, whose 1000-frame-per-second camera eyes allow it to see the ball in super slow motion as it approaches. The robot batter has a near-perfect batting average when swinging at pitches in the strike zone.Clearly, the application for this technology has little to do with baseball per se. The idea is that these robots can react, quite quickly, to external circumstances and each other. Still, it's fun to imagine their potential. And, eventually, the designers plan to increase the pitch speed to 93 miles per hour, which would give human baseball players a run for their money. Unless, that is, as Bill James suggests, we start taking a lot more steroids.Via Pink Tentacle.
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