Baseball is a national sports in Japan and so it was just a matter of time for this baseball- and robot-crazy country to invent (industrial) robots that are able to play baseball. The 2-robot team can’t run around and doesn’t look human, but both machines are able to throw and bat the ball in quite an impressive way.
The robo-pitcher is the result of a cooperation between the MIT and the University of Tokyo (Japan’s answer to the MIT, basically). It can open and close its three-fingered hand ten times per second and hits the strike zone (1mx0.8m) 90% of the time, with 40km/h.
The robo-batter, which is 11m away in the video below, analyzes each throw with its 1,000 fps camera and is able to hit the ball almost 100% of the time.
As a next step, the researchers involved in the development of the baseball robots want to boost the pitcher’s throwing speed to 150km/h.