Japan is using a six-handed volleyball-playing robot to train its national team.
The “volleybot” is designed to help teams practice their spikes: a forceful, downward, jumping strike. The disembodied hands are either pre-programmed or controlled by a touch screen. The coach can set the volleybot to block positions above the net. As you can see in the video above, the hands speed off down a belt at 3.7 meters per second at the touch of a button , “jumping” a little to mimic a well co-ordinated team.
The robot was developed at the University of Tsukuba, in collaboration with Japan Sport Agency’s High Performance Support Project.