Robot dad will play catch with you forever—even when you don't want to

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"Gee, I wish my real dad would play catch with me..."

Robots. You got to love them…unless you fear the robot apocalypse, in which case you probably hate them. Not only can they shoot lasers, they're now capable of playing ball with you while looking absolutely terrifying.

According to Gizmodo, some people over at Disney Research—bet you didn't know the Magic Kingdom was into science as well—recently appropriated a 'theme park-type animatronic humanoid robot' as part of a throwing and catching game scenario.

How does it work? An external camera system (in this case, an Asus Xtion Pro Live) locates the balls while a Kalman filter helps predict when and where the ball will land. Additionally, the robot's hand has also been calibrated to ensure that it moves to the expected landing zone. Upon a successful catch, the robot will fling balls three and a half meters toward you. What's particularly interesting about this is the fact that the robot is wired to use suitable animations in the event of your failure. Disapproving robot dad is disapproving robot dad, indeed. ಠ_ಠ

Asides from being capable of functioning as a substitute father, it looks like the humanoid robot may also well have a future in co-operative juggling, something that is achieved by increasing the tempo of catching/throwing cycle.

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