Cy-ber Young makes Comerica Park debut

DETROIT — Cy-ber Young, a robot designed by 20 high school
students and their mentors, threw out the first pitch before Wednesday’s Tigers-Blue Jays game at Comerica Park.

“I
think it’s pretty awesome the fact that there’s a group of kids in high
school that built a baseball-throwing robot,” Tigers reliever Phil Coke
said. “That’s cool.

“I could use that in the offseason, somebody to play catch with, throw me the ball back. That’d be awesome.”

Frog
Force, the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and
Technology) Robotics Competition team from Novi High School, was the
driving force behind Cy-ber Young, and was assisted by students from
FIRST teams from Troy, Bishop Foley, Waterford-Kettering and Monroe
County high schools.

“This robot was basically built, not just to
throw a pitch, but to get the word of FIRST out there,” said Arjun
Namineni, 17, of Troy High School. “We wanted to let people know that
there’s a program out there that’s trying to help kids, and adults learn
more about technology and become more aware of these kind of things.”

Cy-ber Young weighs 200 pounds and can throw up to 100 miles per hour, although it didn’t throw the first pitch at that speed.

“The
max goes to about 100, sometimes over, depending on how much PSI, how
much air it has,” Namineni said. “But we’re going to reduce it to about
40 PSI for Paws, and it’ll throw about a 44-mile-per-hour pitch with a
bit of an arc.”

It took nearly three months to build Cy-ber Young
but the students have already thought about trying to replace guys like
Coke and Justin Verlander.

“We’re aware and we’ve got a contract
with a few manufacturers to build more of these to replace them,”
Namineni joked. “I’m sure Verlander could throw something faster if he
really tried, but we could replace him for at least the first inning.”

For the record, Cy-ber Young’s pitch was low and away.

If
robots don’t impress you, the other ceremonial first pitch was thrown
by Jordyn Wieber, 2012 Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics.