Metrolife: Say hi to cobots this IPL

Metrolife: Say hi to cobots this IPL

A cobot serves drinks in the VIP lounge during IPL. Image courtesy: MAC Machine Tools & Automation

It is said that technology gives wings to one’s imagination. We are seeing signs of artificial intelligence all around us but you know the world is future-ready when you see it on the field, being used to cheer on your favourite team.  

A team of five from ‘MAC Machine Tools & Automation’ recently developed ‘Cobots’ to cheerlead team Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) during the ongoing IPL season.

Bharath Kumar and Abhijith Pothumsetty, two technical consultants from MAC, came up with the idea of integrating robotics into a B2C forum and the entertainment world.

Says Abhijith, “IPL is a big platform. Till now, no one has come up with something like this. We approached the officials of RCB with a demo and to our surprise, they instantly liked the idea.”

It took the team a month-and-a-half to complete the application. For the next five matches, they are now working on decorating the cobot better and making it more appealing. Bharath notes, “It was good to see a huge crowd, which was curious yet receptive to the new addition to the IPL experience.”

What do the spectators think?

With five more matches to go in Bengaluru’s Chinnaswamy Stadium, Metrolife asked a few RCB fans about their newest cheerleader. 

Nitin Hajela, management consulting professional, says, “This is exciting, considering Bengaluru is the tech hub of the country. I am glad we have taken the lead in this regard as well. IPL is one of the biggest cricketing events and this is a great example of combining entertainment and technology together.”

Thinking aloud about future possibilities, he says that instead of fixing the robot in one place, there should be a provision to make it come into the field and offer drinks to the players. “This will be more entertaining for the crowd,” he laughs. 

Adishesha Sairam, final year engineering student who had a chance to observe the cobot closely, says, “Bengaluru is the first cricket stadium in the world to have a cobot cheering for a team. It was a different and engaging experience to fully see what artificial intelligence can do. The cobot was not only waving the RCB flag, but it is programmed in a way that whenever a player hit a boundary or a wicket falls, it picks up placards with the particular number; just like a proper cheerleader.” 

This innovation goes well with the current cricket fever, he said.

To showcase the full potential of innovation and creativity, the cobot also has impeccable bartending skills that it shows off in the IPL lounge.

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