Toyota Demonstrates Their 'Nearly 100% Accurate' Basketball Shooting Robot

April 9, 2019

These are a couple video demonstrations of the Toyota Engineering Society's CUE 3 humanoid robot, a bot designed to shoot baskets with "nearly 100 percent accuracy." Some more info while I see how well it can shoot when it's confronted with some grade-A heckling. Hey -- your mother was a catapult! "That was not grade-A." It takes me a while to get warmed up:

(The robot) computes as a three-dimensional image where the basket is, using sensors on its torso, and adjusts motors inside its arm and knees to give the shot the right angle and propulsion for a swish...

Stanford University Professor Oussama Khatib, who directs the university's robotics lab, said Cue 3 demonstrates complex activities such as using sensors and nimble computation in real-time in what he called "visual feedback."

To shoot hoops, the robot must have a good vision system, be able to compute the ball's path then execute the shot, he said in a telephone interview.

"What Toyota is doing here is really bringing the top capabilities in perception with the top capabilities in control to have robots perform something that is really challenging," Khatib said.

Admittedly, at first I thought they just got a really good basketball player to dress up as a robot and shoot some shots, but then I realized nobody's head is that small in relation to their body except my buddy Mark M. He looks like a cherry tomato skewered on a toothpick, and we all call him hors d'oeuvre behind his back. "There is no Mark M, is there, GW?" Nope, I'm just projecting as usual.

Keep going for two videos, the first of which is another robot taking almost two minutes to deliver CUE 3 a ball before a 3-point shot (skip to 1:40), the second of which is the robot participating in a shooting contest with human opponents.

Thanks to hairless, who agrees it's only a matter of time until we're betting on robot sports.

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