Phillies Enlist a Robot To Throw First Pitch at Game

The Phillies have enlisted a one-armed, three-wheeled robot, designed by engineers at the University of Pennsylvania, to throw out the first pitch before Wednesday’s game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers. The promotion/stunt is a part of Science Day festivities at Citizens Bank Park, said Evan Lerner, a spokesman for Penn’s engineering school.

The pitching robot has been in the makings for a month and a half as Penn engineers Jordan Brindza and Jamie Gewirtz assembled parts and wrote software in their spare time, Lerner said. They started with a Segway, gave it a robotic arm and added a third wheel.

On Monday, Brindza and Gewirtz took “PhillieBot” out to the mound for a final test run and it went as planned. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. “After the press of a button, the robot’s mechanical arm reared back and then moved toward home plate; at the top of its delivery, it flicked its mechanical “wrist” and shot the ball forward.”

The Philliebot is apparently tossing in the 30 or 40 mph range. Weak robot, if you ask me.

“I know some teams are a little pitching-challenged,” Boekholder said. “But we certainly don’t have that problem.”

via The AP