There’s a weird current trend in science and engineering to create robots to do relatively mundane things, which if decades of science fiction is correct, will almost certainly factor in to some sort of cataclysmic end of the world event.
For example, there were the robot dogs that could open doors, creating some kind of metal velociraptor:
Now, though, there’s another robot skill: shooting a basketball. This is a few days old, and comes to us via CNET. Apparently the robot was a creation of engineers at Toyota, who apparently have all kinds of free time:
Maybe this robot can replace Steph Curry for the rest of the season? pic.twitter.com/6TR1GB9pbW
— CNET (@CNET) March 31, 2018
A few thoughts:
What is up with the robot’s skin? Is that diamond-plate steel or something? It’s basically wearing chain mail. The hands are also weird, but the form is solid, for sure; maybe BEEF should be the fourth law of robotics.
That the robot can stroke it from all over the floor is pretty impressive. As is that it apparently learned to shoot via AI; you wouldn’t think that Allen Iverson would be the go-to name in robotic shooting instruction, but here we are.
(Note: I’m aware what they meant.)
So we’re still a long way from the Robot Basketball League, and there are certainly more horrifying applications of robotics out there. In fact, as far as robots acting human, this is a pretty tame example. Just don’t teach it to do anything dangerous to humans, like opening doors, or a sick crossover.