Thursday, June 09, 2005

Robot to throw out first pitch at Pirates-Orioles game tonight

Call to bullpen: 'Give me R2-D2'

Tuesday, June 07, 2005
By Corilyn Shropshire, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

While Pirates pitcher Oliver Perez's job is in no danger, coaches and others who pitch batting practice before games could one day be relegated to the bench by a robot.
A preview could come tonight, when the S-3 Platform Robot, built by Aliquippa-based RoPro Design and Beaver County Area Vocational Technical School, will deliver the first pitch as the Pirates square off against the Baltimore Orioles on "Robotics Night" at PNC Park.
The "first ever" robotic pitch is in conjunction with the Department of Defense's Joint Robotics meeting program, which will host more than 200 government employees working in the robotics field, in Pittsburgh today and tomorrow.
The S-3, which weighs about 200 pounds and resembles a small car, will be joined by a handful of other robots that will be on display on Federal Street prior to the game. These include the Sherpa DM, a heavy-duty robot made for the Army by Lawrenceville start-up Re2 Inc., and the Talon, which is made by a Boston firm and is being used by American troops in Iraq to disarm bombs.
"We want the public to be aware of the importance of the robotics industry to the region and see the neat products that are being developed locally," said Bill Thomasmeyer, president of the Lawrenceville-based National Center for Defense Robotics.
The S-3 will throw the first pitch to an honorary catcher, Tech. Sgt. Noel Murphy, an Air Force specialist who recently returned home from active duty overseas.

Call to bullpen: 'Give me R2-D2'


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