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Japan baseball robot fans
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Meet ‘Spot’ and ‘Pepper’: Baseball’s robot fans

SoftBank Corp's humanoid robots Pepper (white) and Boston Dynamics' robots SPOT (yellow) dance and sing before the Nippon Professional Baseball league match on July 10, 2020. (Photo by STR / JIJI PRESS / AFP) via Getty Images)
Originally Published: 10 JUL 20 12:26 ET

(CNN) — Say hello to “Spot” and “Pepper.” They’re big baseball fans who never stop moving and never get tired of singing for the Fukuoko SoftBank Hawks.

But these are baseball fans with a difference — they’re robot fans.

Professional baseball returned to Japan on June 19, though coronavirus restrictions prevented fans from attending.

So the Hawks came up with an innovative solution, bringing in over 20 robots to perform the team’s fight song before the game against the Rakuten Eagles on July 7.

Boosted by the robots, the Hawks beat the Eagles 4-3.

However, robots aren’t taking over stadiums just yet.

On July 10, Japan started to allow up to 5,000 fans to attend professional baseball and soccer games.

On game day though, no shouting is allowed.

Baseball is one of the most popular sports in Japan and is followed by millions, from local, professional, and international levels.

Japan ranks second to only the US’s Major League Baseball in terms of popularity of the game.

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