Japanese baseball group use dancing robots as cheerleaders in absence of followers

Japanese baseball team Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks employed 20 robots for cheerleading in the absence of fans in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reuters Photo

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Japanese baseball team Fukuoka Hawks replaces fans with dancing robots
  • Over 20 robots danced to the team’s fight song on a podium
  • Fans not allowed at stadiums in Japanese baseball due to the pandemic

With their stadium devoid of fans due to coronavirus restrictions, Japanese baseball team Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks have come up with an imaginative replacement: dancing robots.

Before their most recent Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) game against Rakuten Eagles on Tuesday, over 20 robots danced to the team’s fight song on a podium in the otherwise empty stand.

Two different robots, including SoftBank’s humaniod robot ‘Pepper’ and others on four legs like a dog, stamped and shimmied in a choreographed dance that is usually performed by the Hawks’ fans before games in the 40,000 capacity Fukuoka Dome.

Some of the robots wore Hawks caps and waved flags supporting the team.

Fans on social media had mixed reactions.

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

Another called the performance “insanely beautiful.”

Boosted by the supportive robots, the Hawks won 4-3 as they look to defend their 2019 NPB title.

The NPB season began three months late on June 19 due to the coronavirus pandemic and currently no supporters are allowed to attend games.

However, from Friday, up to 5,000 fans will be allowed to attend professional baseball and soccer games in Japan due to an easing of restrictions.

IndiaToday.in has plenty of useful resources that can help you better understand the coronavirus pandemic and protect yourself. Read our comprehensive guide (with information on how the virus spreads, precautions and symptoms), watch an expert debunk myths, and access our dedicated coronavirus page.
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