Sci-Fi Fan Scene Cheers On Japanese Baseball Team

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Pepper (back row) and Spot cheer on the Fukuoka Hawks. Photo credit: Kyodo/via REUTERS

Like a scene straight out of War of the Worlds, the players on theFukuoka SoftBank Hawks are now playing to a very different crowd.  With baseball stadiums in Japan devoid of fans due to coronavirus restrictions, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks are being cheered on by a funky, 2020 replacement: dancing robots.

Before the Hawks' most recent game against the Rakuten Eagles on Tuesday, over 20 bots danced to the team’s fight song on a podium in the otherwise empty 40,000-seater Fukuoka Dome.

Two different robot models -- SoftBank’s humaniod robot ‘Pepper’ and Boston Dynamics' robo-dog SPOT -- stamped and shimmied in a choreographed dance that is usually performed by the Hawks’ fans before games.  Boosted by the supportive robots, the Hawks won 4-3 as they look to defend their 2019 NPB title.

Fans on social media had mixed reactions.

“I think this is like a dystopia,” wrote one Twitter user.

Another called the performance “insanely beautiful.”

Baseball beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder.

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.



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