Elizabeth, Now you have come up with a really interesting idea: What about adding a few robot ball players? I can imagine a robotic catcher that gets all of the balls and never errors, and what about a robot pitcher with a 200MPH fastball? And possibly a robot designated hitter to hit those fast balls. With current machine vision it should be possible to have a batter that could hit any pitch. That would be something to see, no matter how the team played.
Of course, it would indeed be a whole new ball game.
I understand your sentiment, William K, and yes it's a bit gimmicky. And of course wasting time and resources on something that is not successful is not ideal. But I think also the idea was to try out some new technology and provide some entertainment for the fans. And how many other teams go through slumps for years and then suddenly become better? You never know...maybe the robots will help.
If an allegedly professional sports team is not good enough, or entertaining enough, to attract an adequate number of folks in the stands, then it seems that the best choice would be to either get better or go away. Producing a product that nobody wants is mostly a waste of resources and one of those things that should be avoided. Normally the open market does that in a rather brutal way.
That must have been quite an experience, Chuck, attending a game in Japan! It's interesting to hear how animated the fans are. It's interesting, too, how in Asian cultures robots seem much more generally accepted and interaction with them is perceived as more normal as it is here in the U.S.
What a great story. Having had the opportunity to attend one baseball game in Japan, I'm not surprised that this would happen in that part of the world (japan or Korea). Fans there are very animated (U.S. fans are quite passive by comparison) and it's easy to imagine them following the lead of the Fanbot.
Yeah, the Final Season is about the Norway, Iowa town baseball team. Insteresting story, not a great movie. Some of it was actually filmed there, all the town shots were filmed in a different town nearby (more picturesque), they messed with the story (the usual "love interest" addition), ... but no bots!
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
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