Autonomous Mech Shoots Hoops
Here’s something new. An autonomous robot from the Seoul National University of Science and Technology finds a (small scale) basketball hoop, walks across the court, and throws a ball through the hoop, all by itself. The video below comes to us from the recent Robot Japan 5 event in Tokyo, via Robots-Dreams.
Not only is this the first example I’ve seen of an autonomous robot playing basketball, but it’s also one of the few bipeds to use the mech-style reverse-knee leg design (sometimes called a “chicken walker”).
We have a very long way to go before NBA players need to worry about robots taking over their jobs. But this is a clear advancement, requiring progress in machine vision, eye-hand coordination, and other skills that any robot will need to get around in the real world. Just as with humans, sports can push robots to new heights. I hope we see more robot basketball in the future!