Robot Throws First Pitch At Phillies Game

Robots are taking our jobs! Well, maybe it's not quite that dramatic, yet. Yesterday, a robot, the PhillieBot, designed by the University of Pennsylvania, gave the first pitch at the Washington Nationals opener to the Phillies Phanatic mascot.

The robot was designed as part of an outreach program and the Phillies' "" by the University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering and Applied Science. Additionally, the robot is part of the , specifically part of a study of how people grasp things (like baseballs). Now, this isn't a pitching machine; a pitching machine is designed more like a gun that fires baseballs through a nozzle. The PhillieBot was designed to actually 'pitch' balls with a similar trajectory as a living human pitcher, complete with an armature and a hand that were designed for throwing. According to the , the PhillieBot can even put "wrist" action into the ball.

So how fast can this puppy throw? The University of Pennsylvania claims the robot can throw at "high speeds", but they had designed it primarily to throw in the 40mph range so it doesn't hurt people. It's no Roger Clemens in the video above (the baseball actually drops and bounces once before the Phanatic catches it), but apparently that's because the Phanatic broke his wrist catching a pitch last year, so the engineers were told to turn down the pitching arm's power for the opening pitch. Way to ruin the PhillieBot's pitching debut, Phanatic.

Clearly, it's only a matter of time before more robots take our jobs. It looks like Judgment Day .

[ via / Video via the (Youtube)]

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