Batter Up! Drexel’s HUBO Robot to Toss First Pitch April 28 Phillies Game
April 27, 2012 —
Following forays into dancing, tai-chi, singing and playing the drums, Drexel University’s adult-size humanoid robot will make its sporting debut April 28 when HUBO throws out the ceremonial opening pitch as the Philadelphia Phillies take on the Chicago Cubs at Citizens Bank Park for the 7:05 p.m. game. HUBO’s appearance on the mound is one of the culminating events of the Philadelphia Science Festival, a weeklong celebration of science and technology throughout the city.
The pitcher is one of seven HUBO robots, created by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), currently calling Drexel their home as part of a National Science Foundation-funded research project. Each robot is 1.3 meters, or about 4-feet, 3-inches, tall. They are fully actuated, which means that they have similar joints and movement capabilities to that of a human, including arms, legs and hands with fully functional fingers and an opposable thumb.
Students from Drexel’s College of Engineering developed the software to give HUBO its advanced functionality and were responsible for programing it to make the pitch. Since 2009 the HUBO research has been a collaborative effort between Drexel’s Autonomous Systems Lab (DASL) and the Music and Entertainment Technology Lab.
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