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Tokyo Olympics showcases robot basketball player -drains threes and half-court bombs

[July 26, 2021: Josh Shavit]

CUE robot at Tokyo Olympics halftime show demonstration. (CREDIT: Toyota)

Team USA’s loss to France is not the only thing shocking basketball fans at this year’s 2021 Tokyo Olympics. During the halftime show, Toyota brought back its basketball-shooting CUE robot for a special demonstration.

For those unfamiliar, the CUE 3 (this version could be an updated version as it does sport an updated “95” jersey number versus its past “93”) was first unveiled two years ago where it sunk over 2,000 free throws in a row and five of eight three-pointers.

While it can’t dribble or jump, the 6-foot-10-inch-tall robot wowed spectators as it scored a free throw, a three-pointer, then casually wheeled over to the midcourt line to sink a half-court shot in style.


The CUE most likely won’t be replacing NBA players anytime soon but watching this strange-looking robot pick up a basketball from halfcourt, calculating the perfect arch, then scoring a half-court shot, is a sight to behold.

The robot pulls off its feat by using a range of sensors, 3D mapping technology and algorithms to figure out where the basket is located and line up its shot.

It then adjusts motors in its arms and legs to create the perfect angle and apply just the right amount of force to make the shot.

While the hoop-shooting robot has proved a crowd-pleaser, its designers say it has helped them understand how to build robots that can accurately mimic human movement which has multiple practical uses.

Such robots could ultimately end up doing hard labour jobs which are arduous for people to do - such as picking crops, making deliveries, and working in factories.

For more technology stories check out our New Innovation section at The Brighter Side of News.


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