Watch a sparkly basketball robot built by Toyota engineers sink flawless free throws

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It's a story as old as time. Inspired by a famous manga about basketball, a group of Toyota engineers worked together in their free time to build a robot capable of firing perfect free throws. Eventually, after perfecting their mechanical creation, they challenged professional human players and beat them shot by blow.
That's the story reported by the Japanese news agency Asahi Shimbun anyway, and the video evidence (up and down) certainly confirms it. Although it is not clear exactly what technology is driving this free-throw robot. Asahi Shimbun says that AI was used to teach the robot how to shoot, but the video evidence makes the robot look rather unsophisticated. It moves on wheels and simply repeats the same movements over and over again.

However, this kind of unimaginative perfection is apparently enough to defeat the robot's human opponents: a pair of players from the local B-League basketball team, Alvark Tokyo. This always seems to be the case when humans come face to face with AI and robots. Even if a machine is not as imaginative or talented as a human being, it is always more consistent.
As Garry Kasparov said about his historical losses playing IBM's Deep Blue: "To win the game, [a machine] he only has to make fewer mistakes than humans, which is not so difficult since humans are human and vulnerable, and not we have the same firm hand as the computer. "
In this case, the Toyota robot does have some very firm hands. But we can not imagine him playing a good defense.


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