We’ve seen many people be given the honor of throwing out the first pitch in a ball game. Who would’ve imagined a robot would partake in this? It actually happened on April 20 at the Field at Citizens Bank Park. PhillieBot, a robot custom-built for the Philadelphia Science Festival, threw out the first pitch at 12:45 p.m. (prior to the 1:05 p.m. Phillies-Brewers game).
PhillieBot was engineered and built over the last two months with one specific purpose: to throw out the first pitch on April 20. It was a project of the GRASP lab at University of Pennsylvania, which is one of the core collaborators in the inaugural Philadelphia Science Festival. Festival organizers and the Phillies collaborated on developing a “Science Day at the Ballpark” to showcase the physics of baseball and other interesting bits of science and technology that are part of America’s favorite pastime.
• PhillieBot was built for the Philadelphia Science Festival by members of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) lab at University of Pennsylvania.
• Resting Height: 70 in
• Approximate Weight: 230 lbs
• Main mobile platform: Segway RMP 200
• Head: Tangent robotics sphere-gear pod
• Arm: Barrett Technologies WAM arm (Wrist custom manufactured out of aluminum and carbon fiber- pneumatic piston activated)
• Jordan Brindza (Staff-Programmer Analyst) – programming and electronic interfacing
• Jamie Gewirtz (Staff-Research Specialist) – mechanical design, component integration and manufacturing
• Christian Moore (MEAM PhD)- mechanical design and manufacturing
• Vijay Kumar (Deputy Dean for Education) – Oversight and Initial Design
• Rebecca Stein (Associate Director, Research and Educational Outreach) – O