This marks the U.S. first Olympic loss in men's basketball since 2004 when Team USA lost to Argentina. However, their defeat to the underdogs was not the only talk of the town, well, the world in this case. France's spotlight was partially stolen by a 7-foot Japanese animatronic robot that swished a free throw, a 3-pointer, and a half-court shot.
Designed by Toyota, the robot is called Cue. It's an AI basketball-playing robot developed by Toyota volunteers in their spare time that scores 100 out of 100 shots. Cue4, the fourth generation, was presented at the end of 2019 by the development team as a genuine project with a deadline of 2020.
We don't if this version of Cue, which appeared during halftime on Sunday, is still the Cue4, but there are some notable differences in design from the last model. When it was first introduced last year in March, the Cue4 had some chords and a platform that supported it. This time, the robot didn't have any of those.
Using AI algorithms, the remotely-controlled robot threw the ball with striking precision. It took almost as long as NBA champion Giannis Antetokounmpo to shoot. Fans even joked around, saying that the robot's performance even beats the one of Giannis'. You can see for yourselves what Cue is capable of in the videos down below.
Get this robot in the NBA immediately pic.twitter.com/ERJf52dxBX— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) July 25, 2021