Dancing robots replace fans at Japanese baseball game

By Jack Tarrant

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 humanoid 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.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

It’s a waste if money we don’t have.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Dystopia's right. I shudder to imagine what they'll think of for the pro-wrestling.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Lol...another “Only in Japan” moment

0 ( +4 / -4 )

If they were smart - just add CGI crowd to th live footage - am sure the technology is there to do that and much less wasteful.

The cardboard cut out crowd reported the other week was even more stupid/wasteful.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Wished for some sexy robots

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Dystopia's right. I shudder to imagine what they'll think of for the pro-wrestling.

Pro wrestling has been doing it for months already. They use other pro wrestlers or backstage workers to observe as fans.

This was just downright weird.

Even the Taiwan/South Koreans did a better job of creating spectators.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Even South Korea does better than this.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How did you tell the difference?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan's answer to any "people problem"  Robots.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wow, that's pretty damn sabishii.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I, for one, welcome our robot overlords.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Some companies have way too much money to waste-Son Masayoshi has also lost a pile recently too!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You'd think at least the robots could sing in tune.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites