Japanese researchers develop baseball playing robots

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Japanese researchers develop baseball playing robots

Post  Admin on Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:13 am

Japan mixes its passion for baseball with its love of robots, to create a field of dreams. Japanese researchers recently developed a set of baseball pitching and batting robots using Japan's latest robotics technology. Using a fast-moving arm and three flexible fingers, the robot is able to pitch straight at a maximum speed of 60 kilometres an hour -- a speed designed to throw a ball across 3.5 metres without hurting anyone in the lab room. The three fingers are designed to open and close at least 10 times per second. The batting robot takes about 0.2 seconds to bat with the assistance of an eye sensor. An engineering and information systems lab at Tokyo University created the batting robot in 2003 and began programming the pitching robot a few years ago. The batting robot is linked to the eye sensor called "fast vision," which processes a thousand pictures per second. The sensor chases, detects and reads the ball movement and sends a signal to the batting robot. Both the fingers and eyes react and operate faster than humans. The lab's goal is to create a robot that far exceeds the flexibility and speed of a human body, but Senoo says reflecting human motion dynamics onto a robot is no easy task
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