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It must be pretty galling to be a player/fan/associate of the Hanwha Eagles (nickname the Hanwha Chickens), a South Korean baseball team so pitiful that robots have been built to replace their depressed, dwindling number of supporters. Despite some glory days in the '90s, the Eagles are perpetual low-rankers in the Korean baseball league, albeit with an army of loyal fans known as "stone Buddhas", a reference to their enduring support through tough times.
Now, patience appears to have worn thin to the extent that robots are being sent in to replace fans who just CANNOT TAKE IT ANYMORE. The Hanwha Robot is "the world's first cheering robot", a machine that joins forces with other identical machines to participate in group chanting. According to their manufacturers, the fanbots "encourage group cheering at important moments". Eurgh.
But it's not all weird and sad (it is). If you love baseball but just CBA leaving the house, no problem. The fanbots are happy to wear a digital image of your face if you so desire, they'll wave and cheer for you, all controlled via smartphone. It's like you're really there!
This idea would only work if every sports team across the world gets their own army of devoted robot fans, but with a taste for lager, cheap speed and violence so we can all start enjoying hooliganism guilt free and any films on the subject won't star Vinny Jones or Elijah Wood, just giant, pissed robots.
Check out the fairly sedate Hanwha Eagles fanbots below:
Follow Thomas Gorton on Twitter here @angstromhoot