Hanwha Eagles, a struggling Korean baseball team who are being called the Buddhist Saints, has lost four hundred matches over the last five years. Opposition team fans have nicknamed them Hanwha Chickens. Their fans have been a backbone for them, but losing every time has been hard, both for their team and their supporters.
Korean scientists have designed sports fan robots that will interact with the fans of the team and make sure that Hanwha Eagles feel like they have their support. This serious attempt of creating 'fanbots' can also help a larger number of people to experience the match.
The robots are designed in such a manner so that they can cheer, wave, chant and even perform the Mexican Wave. They will also be ably to display messages of support from their fans who would be viewing the match through smartphones or computers and can send it with the help of text messages. Dave Lee from BBC has reported that selfies of the fans can be uploaded to the robots and that these selfies will be displayed during the course of the match.
If the Los Angeles Dodgers or New York Yankees were to have these robots, they'd be minting money by renting them to fans. SportBusiness International's editor, Matt Cutler, told BBC that these robots offer potential monetisation and that even if the smallest amount can provide fans with a different viewpoint. He added that for all the matches of big clubs, purchasing season tickets isn't very easy and there's a huge waiting list for it.
John Hemmingam, a football fan, joked about misbehaviour of the robot. Calling the robot a "robotic hooligan", he imagined the scenario of the robotise getting aggressive, abusive, spilling a drink and even sitting in the wrong section.
It is being said that people are losing interest in watching matches, and Japan hopes to re-create the feel of the live matches by the use of holographic technology which will enable fans from different countries to watch the match all at the same time.