Jet Hitter: New Baseball robot allows solo practice

Baseball robots are nothing new (there’s even a dedicated Wikipedia article on them), but that didn’t stop Japan’s Meiji University and Yokohama-based metal recycling company MRC [JP] to come up with the so-called Jet Hitter [JP].

This new model is a batting tee robot that makes it possible for a player to practice hitting baseballs by himself. And the makers say it’s the first of its kind.

The way Jet Hitter works is that users need to step on a button at the base of the robot, prompting a baseball to pop up and stay suspended 10-20cm above a nozzle on a jet of air. Users can then practice hitting up to 70 balls one after another (that’s how many balls the robot can hold). Jet Hitter can be filled with both soft and hard balls.

Meiji and MRC say Jet Hitter is already being used by several Japanese pro baseball teams. But the robot can actually be bought by anyone ready to spend $7,700 for it.