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  • 06.13.13

Young Baseball Fan Throws First MLB Telerobotic PItch

Google Fiber enables a young baseball fan’s dreams.

Last night, the first-ever telerobotic pitch was thrown at a major league baseball game. The game was in Oakland, but the pitch was thrown 1,800 miles away in Kansas City. And the pitcher was a 13-year-old boy named Nick LeGrande, who is suffering from a dangerous blood disorder called severe aplastic anemia. LeGrande had been in Little League until the diagnosis. Now his health prevents him from attending games.

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The project was orchestrated by Google, which has been conducting its high-speed Google Fiber experiment in Kansas City, agency Venables Bell & Partners and Deeplocal, which built the robotic system that enabled the pitch. The team set up a mini-stadium at its Kansas City headquarters, where LeGrande threw his pitch. A pitching machine sat on the pitcher’s mound at the Oakland Coliseum and was able to follow LeGrande’s movements via a Google app. LeGrande was able to watch on a screen as the robot released his ball and sent it shooting toward A’s pitcher Ryan Cook. See the results in the video above.

[Images: Travis LoDolce | Oakland A’s | Google Fiber]

About the author

Jennifer Miller is the author of The Year of the Gadfly (Harcourt, 2012) and Inheriting The Holy Land (Ballantine, 2005). She's a regular contributor to Co.Create.

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