Robots Playing Basketball

First, take a look. This happened recently during a Japanese B-League game.

Toyota Motor Corp’s Cue 3 robot.

Now, via the Associated Press:

Toyota Motor Corp.’s robot, called Cue 3, 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.
Efforts in developing human-shaped robots underline a global shift in robotics use from pre-programmed mechanical arms in limited situations like factories to functioning in the real world with people…

…Experts say robots that can mimic human movements, even doing them better, could prove useful in various ways, including picking crops, making deliveries, and working in factories and warehouses.

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.”

Toyota engineers tell the AP it will be about 20 years before the robot can run, jump and dunk. Unless, of course, Cue 3 and Boston Dynamics’ Atlas make robot babies.