The Future of Artificial Humans and Robots in Sports

Are robots really better than humans in sports?

Robot technology is evolving at breakneck speed. Pepper (the name of a robot) of SoftBank is found in companies around the world and is rapidly improving his conversational skills. Telepresence robots open up new opportunities for remote work, while Boston Dynamics' Handle robot could soon (literally) do the work of human colleagues in warehouses.

But warehouses and offices aren't the only places where robots line up alongside humans. Toyota's Cue 3 robot recently demonstrated its basketball skills, with better numbers than the NBA's most accurate three-point shooter, Steph Curry, of the Golden State Warriors.

Cue 3 is still far from being ready to take on Curry, or even amateur basketball players, in a real game. However, he is the latest member of a growing group of robots that challenge human dominance in sports.

As these robots continue to develop, they not only exemplify the speed of the exponential development of technology, but also how those technologies are enhancing human capabilities.

Meet the contestants

The list of robots in sport is surprisingly long and diverse. There are robot skiers, soccer players, sumos, and even robot game riders. Here are some of them:

1. Robot: Forpheus
Sport: Table tennis
Introduction: It looks like something out of the War of the Worlds equipped with a ping pong bat instead of a death ray.
Skill level: Able to counter spin shots and good enough to beat many beginners.

2. Robot: Sumo bot
Sport: Sumo Wrestling
Intro: Hyper-fast, hyper-aggressive. Think of a robot equivalent to an angry wasp in six crossed Red Bull cans with a very small tank.
Skill level: Fly around the ring faster than any human sumo. Tends to come straight out of the ring sometimes.

3. Robot: Cue 3
Sport: Basketball
Introduction: He's a towering 6 feet 10 inches tall (1.86 m), making him practically built for the NBA. It looks a bit like something that should be in a video game.
Skill level: 62.5 percent three-point percentage, which is better than Steph Curry's; it is less mobile than Charles Barkley, in its current form.

4. Robot: Robo Cup Robots
Intro: The future of soccer. If all goes according to plan, a team of robots will take on Lionel Messis and Cristiano Ronaldo from 2050 and beat them in a full 11v11 game.
Skill level: He currently plays soccer more as a six year old than Lionel Messi.

The limiting factor

The skill level of all these robots is impressive, and they are doing things that no human competitor can do. The inhuman speed of sumo bots is evident. Forpheus' ability to track the ball with two cameras while at the same time tracking his opponent with two other cameras requires a look at the spec sheet, but is similar to human ability. While Cue 3 can't move, it makes shots of half the court seem easy.

Robots are performing at a level that was limited to the realm of science fiction in the early millennium. The current speed ​​of development indicates that in the near future, my national team soccer coach will probably call a robot instead of a player and it would be okay to do so.

It is also worth considering that many current sports robots have a humanoid shape, which limits their ability. If engineers optimized the robot's design to outperform humans in specific categories, many world champions would likely already be metallic.

Swimming is perhaps one of the most obvious. Even Michael Phelps would fight to keep up with a torpedo-shaped robot, and if you augment a sumo robot to human size, human sumos could impress you by running away from them with a speed of 100 meters near Usain Bolt's.

In other areas, the playing field for humans and robots is leveling fast. A possible candidate for the first competitions is racing, where cars that drive Roborace League cars could be ready to compete like Lewis Hamilton.

Perhaps one of the most important reasons robots can still take time to beat us is that, along with other exponential technologies, they are already making us better in sports.

In Japan, elite volleyball players use a robot to practice their attacks. Some American football players also practice against robot opponents and hone their skills using virtual reality. On the sidelines, artificial intelligence is used to analyze and improve athletes' performance, and we will soon be able to see the first artificial intelligence coaches, not to mention the referees.

We can even compete in games devised by our electronic cousins. SpeedGate, a new game created by an AI by studying 400 different sports, is an excellent example of what is fast becoming a possibility.

However, chances are we still have the final word on what constitutes a good game. The AI ​​that SpeedGate created also suggested less suitable hobbies, such as underwater parkour and a game that included explosive frisbees. Both could be fun ... but only if you are as robust as a robot.

Son estos robots mejores que tĂș en los deportes?

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