Sports leagues and teams around the world have been filling stadiums with stuffed toys and cardboard cutouts to stand in for fans who can’t watch in person due to the coronavirus pandemic. SoftBank, however, is taking things a step further in an effort to make its Japanese baseball team’s games a lot livelier. The company has revealed (via Engadget Japanese) that its robotic division’s Pepper humanoid robot and Boston Dynamics’ quadruped robot Spot will perform together at Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks’ home games.
SoftBank built a special stage where the two machines will dance together to the tune of the Hawks’ theme song Iza Yuke Wakataka Gundan. The home games will be held at the Fukuoka PayPay Dome, and the robots are expected to perform there from July 7th through the 31st. Pepper, as SoftBank’s creation, will even support the Hawks in other ways, such as striking a pose when a player hits a home run.
Cheerleading is far from being Pepper’s first job since it became available for sale in 2015. SoftBank previously staffed a store with the humanoid machine, and Pizza Hut also once used Pepper to take orders on a trial basis. Meanwhile, Boston Dynamics only started selling Spot in June, offering it to businesses in the US for $75,000.