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A Pitching Robot [Video]

Philadelphia Phillies
Drew Hallowell, Getty Images

Seeing this story really makes me wonder if we’re moving closer to automating almost everything. Earlier this week, I did a blog about a robot to workout with, and now a robot will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before this afternoon’s game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Milwaukee Brewers.

The robot, appropriately named Philliebot, was created by University of Pennsylvania students Jordan Brindza and Jamie Gewirtz, and will be part of Science Day at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia.

What differentiates the Philliebot, which was made from spare parts, from a plain old pitching machine is that it actually pitches the ball, using an arm motion and wrist action, rather than just firing the ball out of a circular wheel machine. Actually, pretty creative.

While the Philliebot’s first pitch will only be about 40MPH, the robot can throw much harder than that. In this case, it won’t, as the inventors claim they are under “strict instructions” not to do anything that could hurt the team’s mascot, the Phillie Phanatic. Maybe they can automate that, too.

Check out a video of the Philliebot in action.

[Philly.com]

That’s what I want to see-robots playing sports. Those players with the big salaries better watch themselves. If this becomes a growing trend, they may be replaced by a machine. Do you think that will ever happen?

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