Hats off to Professor Masatoshi Ishikawa of the University of Tokyo, who has turned his scientific prowess in the field of robotics toward a subject we can all get behind – creating the next generation of android athletes, superior to their human counterparts in every way, except for their inability to feel love.
Ishikawa’s laboratory is now home field for a robotic pitching arm that can throw strikes 9 times out of 10 and and a batting arm that can never swings at anything outside of the strike zone, and bats almost 1.000 on pitches inside the zone. Of course, that’s a tainted sample size at best, as right now it’s only swinging at 25 mph lobs across the plate.
But Ishikawa hopes that future iterations of the technology will be able to throw curves and sliders at upwards of 90 mph, hit with power to all fields and spout situationally appropriate baseball cliches. Which is great, but it’s still a couple generations of technology and a laser gun arm away from the ultimate sport – baseball played by fighting robots. Fighting robots that we can also train as gangs of ninja crime fighters.
Still, it’s a step in the right direction, and that’s nothing to scoff at.