Robot to Pitch at Phillies Game Tonight

In a classic April showdown between two National League contenders, the Phillies and the Brewers will take the field at Citizens Bank Park tonight. The first pitcher to take the mound, however, will not be Chris Narveson or Cliff Lee, the scheduled starting pitchers, but instead will be a robot. Engineers at fellow Ivy League member, University of Pennsylvania, designed this one-armed, three-wheeled robot, dubbed the PhillieBot, to throw the ceremonial first pitch.

You might ask, hasn’t every twelve-year-old who has been to a batting cage seen some version of this glorified pitching machine? Think again. This robot features a pneumatic cylinder that shoots out a spurt of compressed carbon dioxide to power each pitch. Furthermore, the PillieBot’s computer brain allows for the velocity and trajectory of the pitch to be altered, making it more human-like than other pitching machines. However, with a throw reaching only 30 to 40 miles per hour, the PhillieBot will not be earning a spot in the Phillies’ all-star rotation. Perhaps the Phillies should look to trade the PhillieBot to the Boston Red Sox, whose 5.58 team ERA rounds out the bottom of the American League.  

Elizabeth Reynolds