This week, Toyota-sponsored Japanese basketball team Alvark Tokyo unveiled a new basketball-playing robot called CUE, which literally does not miss a shot.
The robot faced off with Alvark Tokyo players in a round of shooting and went 10 for 10. The machine apparently needs no help with its shooting mechanics.
That didn’t surprise The Verge writer James Vincent.
“This seems to always be the case when humans go head-to-head with AI and robots," he wrote. "Even if a machine isn’t as imaginative or talented as a human, it’s always more consistent.”
The Japanese news agency Asahi Shimbun reported that the robot learned free-throw shooting through artificial intelligence, but it didn't explain what that meant.
"Asahi Shimbun says AI was used to teach the robot how to shoot, but the video evidence makes the bot look pretty unsophisticated," Vincent wrote for The Verge. "It moves about on wheels and just repeats the same motions again and again."1 comment on this story
Technology news site ZDNet reported that "at a minimum such a device would need some way to measure the distance to the hoop, a task easily accomplished with an electronic rangefinder, as well as by more sophisticated sensors like stereo vision or LiDAR."
The engineers would then need to measure the accurate amount of force to put the ball in the hoop.
ZDNet wrote that "the Toyota engineers would only need to dial into an equation to yield the input forces necessary to send a spinning basketball along a defined trajectory."
Watch more of CUE in action below.