Google Fiber, baseball, a sick kid’s dream, and the first telerobotic pitch in MLB history

Play ball.

Above: Play ball.

Image Credit: Google
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google baseball fiber

Google is helping a Little Leaguer throw out the first pitch in a Major League Baseball game today, even though he has a life-threatening blood disease, by using a telerobotic pitching machine — and Google Fiber.

Nick LeGrande is a 13-year-old baseball fanatic who was told by doctors in January that he could not continue to play the game. Due to his illness, Nick’s bone marrow is no longer producing white blood cells, which means his immune system is extremely weak. He can’t be around crowds of people, so baseball is out.

So tonight, Google is surprising the young Kansas City kid with an opportunity to play baseball that doesn’t involve crowds: throwing out the first pitch at the New York Yankees-Oakland A’s game, 1,800 miles away in Oakland, Calif. While the A’s home stadium is not exactly the place to go when you can’t be around people (especially when the Yanks are in town), the “no crowds” part comes in via this machine: a telerobotic pitching machine that Google calls FiberBot.

001-FiberBot_on_moundHow will it work?

Google is transforming its office space in Kansas City into a baseball diamond — or at least enough of it for Nick to stand on a mound and throw a pitch toward home plate. That motion will be captured, sent over the Internet to the web-connected FiberBot, and then replicated on the mound in Oakland.


And one 13-year-old will have his dream come true.

Image credits: Google

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