"Robot Goalkeeper" Shuts Down Lionel Messi, Impresses People Who Don't Understand Robots

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
April 9 2013 2:49 PM

"Robot Goalkeeper" Shuts Down Lionel Messi, Impresses People Who Don't Understand Robots

In the video above, taken from a Japanese game show, legendary Barcelona striker faces off against what is billed as an amazing "robot goalkeeper." Few human keepers can hope to stop a Messi penalty kick, but the unflappable cardboard cutout shuts him down shot after shot, using cameras to track the ball's velocity and spin and then snapping into position before the ball gets there. Finally, heroically, on his last shot, Messi finds a way through.

People who don't understand robots report being highly impressed by the spectacle of a machine that performs one task very well over and over again.

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Meanwhile, in other singularity news, amazing “robot pitchers” that can throw 100mph strikes every time are already in use at batting cages around the country.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

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