A basketball-playing robot developed by Toyota showed up in the Tokyo Olympics. CUE boasted a 100 percent shooting rate, displaying its skills during the halftime show of USA vs. France game. Full details on the Olympics shooting robot are discussed below.
The Toyota Engineering Society, an in-house volunteer organization, started studying AI (artificial intelligence) to build "a robot that could use AI to calculate the distance to the goal by itself, and sink 100 percent of its shots." This idea would later capture the interest of the Guinness World Records officials.
AI Shooting Robot CUE
The team build the iconic Olympic robot through a trial-and-error process starting in 2018. They successfully created CUE (first generation), which pulled off 10 shots during the Alvark Tokyo match. The robot gained popularity through its YouTube video, which helped fund its management to be better.
Evolving from a casual project to official work, the team created CUE2. This new robot gained a better form factor by standing independently on its own two feet. It was also programmed to shoot three-pointers at any angle within a restricted area.
By April 2019, the team introduced CUE3. This time, the development team aimed to join the Guinness World Records as "Most consecutive basketball free throws by a humanoid robot (assisted)."
The team aimed for a 200 free throw challenge in their record. However, on the day of the attempt, CUE3 far surpassed expectations. It easily reached the 200 mark, reaching the 1,000 mark without showing signs of stopping. At this point, the team was inspired to reach 2020 shots in support of the "Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games."
After six hours and thirty-five minutes of shooting, CUE3 and its team received the first-ever official world record certificate saying, "Most consecutive basketball free throws by a humanoid robot (assisted)-- 2,020."
According to Toyota, Project leader Nomi said, "For this record attempt, we remained members of Toyota but also collaborated with a professional sports team, and embarked on a challenge that no one else had undertaken; we engaged seriously in manufacturing in the form of robot development; and, as adults, we devoted ourselves to a single goal and rejoiced at achieving our goals."
The team hoped that their Guinness World record would hold as a challenge to other robot developers for many years to come.
Tokyo Olympics Shooting Robot
As ESPN reported, at halftime of the United States' men's basketball game on July 25 against France, a giant robot entered the stadium. It scored points from the three-point area up until the centerline. CUE was being officially introduced as a robot-registered player capable of shooting 100 percent shots. Tokyo Olympics posted a video of these scoring ability.
FIBA also posted high-quality photos of the robot in its shooting pose.
The robot that showed up is suspected to be CUE5, due to its shirt numbering with "cue" homonym to "9" in Japanese. This marks an exciting achievement for TES (Toyota Engineering Society) and CUE.
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