Turns out badminton is the fastest racket sport on earth. Despite the much publicized speed the balistically potent little yellow balls attain during tennis matches, they’re no match for the 300 kilometers per hour that badminton birdies reach on a good day.
Still, unless you’re playing against world class competition, you’re not likely to get hammered by birdies at that speed, unless you manage to secure the presence, services or inanimate friendship of a robot who happens to play badminton.
And before you start lamenting the fates of a world that holds no such robots, check out the video, which, despite showing little actual film of the badminton robot – so little in fact, you might think they were going for the Bigfoot effect – does manage to impress with the robot’s functionality and playing ability.
The excitement stops there, because it’s not a humanoid robot, so any Japanese-inspired fantasies of post-game cocktails and courtship are dead in their tracks, and so is the robot itself, in a way, as it can only move to the left and right – not a good omen for complex game strategies.
Jada, that’s the name of the robot, has plans of blossoming sometime in the future, as its developers from the Flanders Mechanotrics Technology Centre in Louvain, Belgium, plan to take her game to a new level, with complex plays and more freedom of movement.