Unless you're Mark Buehrle, it's nearly impossible for humans to play a perfect game of baseball. But for robots, feats like batting 1000 are already a reality.
Developed by the University of Tokyo, two baseball robots, a pitcher and a batter, play head to head in near perfection.
The pitching robot uses an arm from MIT and a three-fingered hand developed in-house (that's so nimble it can open and close 10 times per second) to release a strike zone pitch 90% of the time. Meanwhile the batting robot offers intense competition by wielding a 1000fps camera that can track the pitch in realtime, connecting with the ball almost every time it flies in the strike zone.
But before you get too excited, know that the pitching bot only throws the ball at 38kph. So it's likely that a classic batting cage bot could strike out more MLBers than anything coming out of the labs...for now. Researchers hope to increase pitch speed to 150kph soon and work curve balls and sliders into the mix. We'll see how well the batting robot (and puny humans) can keep up then. [Mainichi via Pink Tentacle via CrunchGear]