Robots do not only need to be used in fields like education, home care and manufacturing. Machines can also be used in sports to improve the training and help the athletes. We show you in which sports they have already been used.
Football is all about tactics. In the past, coaches had play books full of special moves for every situation. Nowadays, most coaches have digitalized their moves and they can even access live data of the players. It’s no wonder that also the football training has been refined. The newest trend is a so-called MVP (Mobile Virtual Player) robot. The dummy can drive as fast as 20 mph, it’s cushioned and it’s used for training tacklings. It is supposed to make the training safer because the MVP takes all the hits during football practice which lowers the injury potential for the players. The robot is controlled by a human being but students from Dartmouth College who developed the MVP are working on a sensor control.
Fitness gyms already have virtual coaches who give courses on a big screen. But authorities in Singapore even go a bit further: They have installed a so-called RoboCoach in several nursing homes to keep the residents fit. The robot is able to perform 15 different types of arm exercise and he can even slow down the workout to make sure the exercises are done correctly to maximize the benefits. The RoboCoach was developed by students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
If you want to improve your table tennis skills or you are just looking for an opponent to play against, then you should check out TOPIO. That’s a humanoid robot which was developed by a Vietnamese robotics company just for this sports. The newest version of the TOPIO is 6' 2" tall, weighs 264 lb, wears sunglasses and has a paddle in his hand. Thanks to artificial intelligence the robot learns and continuously improves its skill level while playing.
The most popular sports in the world has not found any use of robots in its world so far. One exception is groundskeeping. From now on, a new robot called Intelligent One can be used to mark lines on the field. The robot which was developed by a Danish company can autonomously mark a whole soccer pitch in only 30 minutes.
Robots have been used in Tennis for many years now. Ball machines are able to shoot several balls per minute over the net and are also used by amateurs.