CUE3: RECORD-BREAKING BASKETBALL ROBOT

Well, looks like Steph Curry better watch out! A record breaking basketball playing robot named CUE3, has been birthed by a team of Toyota Engineers. How good is it? Well it can land a free shot, perfectly hitting the target, more than 2,000 times in a row.

It originally was a spare time project, designed to demonstrate the potential of robotics and artificial intelligence. It may display some incredible sporting ability and accuracy. However, the same technical innovation is being applied to Toyota to create robots which help. Helping the injured and disabled rehab in their day to day lives at home.

CUE3, is as the name suggests, the teams third iteration of the concept. It was revealed at a pro-basketball match in Japan earlier this year. It stands 6ft 10″ tall and wears the #93 vest.  A simple video of the robot landing a centre line, took the web by storm. As it was so popular online, the team bidded to set a Guinness World Record. A record for the most consecutive basketball free throws by a humanoid robot.

Earlier versions of CUE3 were unsuitable for such record attempts. Mainly due to the fact it took up to 3mins to reset the machine after each shot. The team got to work and 5months later CUE3 made the record bid a realistic possibility.

Not settling for 5 successive shots that were needed to set the record, the team wanted more! However, they were a little unsure of how much repeated movement would affect the robot. Plus the air pressure in the balls and the angle of the hoop also needed to be accounted for. Plus they also had to retrieve the ball and place it accurately in CUE3’s hands for the robot to be able to pot successfully.

CUE3 Completing The Task

CUE3 landed 5 shots with easy. Then 200. 3 hours later that number was set at 1,000. That’s 1 every 12 seconds. The team stopped at 2,020 shots. The same number of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics date. It accomplished this feat in 6hrs and 35mins.

“For the record attempt, we remained members of Toyota, but also collaborated with a professional sports team to embark on a challenge no one else had undertaken. We would be delighted if as many people as possible developed an interest in basketball, robots and manufacturing as a result of watching our efforts.” – Project leader Tomohiro Nomi

The CUE team are now looking to take part in an all-stars match in January 2020, which could see CUE3 evolving yet again.

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