27th July 2021
Humanoid robot plays basketball at Olympics
A robot has wowed the audience at a basketball match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The machine, which goes by the name of CUE, showed off its throwing skills during half-time of the Men's Preliminary Round Group B game between France and the United States (which France won 83-76).
In development by Japanese company Toyota since May 2018, CUE stands 208 cm (6' 10") tall and weighs 90 kg (200 lbs). It uses sensors on its torso to calculate the angle and distance to the basket, before using its motorised arms and knees to shoot. The whole process from lifting the ball to making the shot takes less than 15 seconds.
While it may lack the speed and mobility to fully compete with human players, its accuracy is certainly without doubt. And given the rapid progress in robotics demonstrated by companies like Boston Dynamics, the sci-fi prospect of machines beating humans may become a reality sooner than you think.