Think basketball, and you’ll probably have a number of teams and players popping into your head, be it from the PBA or the NBA. One of the last things you’d associate with basketball would have to be an automobile manufacturer such as Toyota. However, did you know that the Japanese automaker has built an AI basketball robot called Cue3?
Cue3 can’t do slam dunks like Lebron James or Kobe Bryant, but their 204cm tall robot can nail three-pointers all day long. If you’re wondering why its called Cue3 is because this is the third basketball robot Toyota has built. In fact, the development of the first-generation Cue started as early as 2018. On November 28, 2018, Cue2 was revealed and managed to score a successful three-pointer.
It was only in April this year when the newest Cue3 was revealed. Unlike its predecessors, Cue3 was able to shoot super-long three-pointers from the center line, approximately 12 meters away. More recently, the Cue3 managed to set a new Guinness World Record for most consecutive free throws. Now just managing to sink five free throws is already a record in itself. However, Toyota wanted to achieve a total of 2020 consecutive free throws, achieving the record of “Most consecutive basketball free throws by a humanoid robot (assisted)”.
“For this record attempt, we remained members of Toyota but also collaborated with a professional sports team, and embarked on a challenge that no one else had undertaken; we engaged seriously in manufacturing in the form of robot development; and, as adults, we devoted ourselves to a single goal and rejoiced at achieving our goals,” said project leader Tomohiro Nomi.
For now, Cue3 can only just shoot standing still. However, Toyota’s Cue Development Team is already working on Cue4 and is already being developed. Cue4 is expected to take part in the B.League All-Stars Game in January 2020. Who knows, it could even be the new GOAT.