The robots are taking over.
Japan’s done it again. While the rest of the world has been frantically trying to figure out how to host sporting events, Japan simply decided to bring the world of sports into the future of technology.
With coronavirus preventing fans from filling their stadium, Japanese baseball team Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks created a unique and imaginative alternative to a cheering crowd. Before their Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) game against the Rakuten Eagles, they set up 20 robots in the stands to dance to their team’s fight song.
Two different robots were used for this highly choreographed dance number. SoftBank’s human-like robot “Pepper” joined Boston Dynamic's four-legged, dog-like robot "Spot" to stomp, cheer, and shimmy their way through the Hawks' song. Some of these robots were extra lively as they wore Hawks hats and waved flags to show their team spirit.
Responses to the robotic spectacle have been mixed.
Some Twitter users believed the show was beautiful and a great way to motivate players and fans during hard, uncertain times. For these fans, they appreciated the joy that these robots brought and the smile they put on everyone's face.
That's very interesting during this Coronavirus period because players need to be motivated...— John kanku Ngandu (@Kanku4Ngandu) July 11, 2020
However, others thought it was creepy and portrayed a distopian society or the start of the robot revolution.
Coincidentally, this is also the song they'll be playing as they hunt the last remaining humans across the smoldering wasteland.— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) July 9, 2020
All was well, until the bottom of the fifth ining when the robots attacked...— Diego McCloud (@diego_mccloud) July 11, 2020
And some people thought the robots had nothing on them.
There is not a robot that can replace what a real baseball fan feels.— Mike Brown (@mikethad1961) July 11, 2020
No matter what Twitter users thought, the robots seemed to excel at their job. The Hawks won 4-3 and are now looking to defend their NPB title.
The robotic cheerleading squad is expected to dance at the PayPal Dome stadium until July 31. The NPB also began testing to allow fans to watch live at the stadium starting July 10.
So, what do you think? Are these cheerleading robots the future of sports or do you think we should leave the cheering to the humans? Let us know in the comments!