Robot Progress Report: Can We Still Beat a Bucket of Bolts at Bowling?

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Someday, robots will be better than us at everything. Even cuddling. But how are things going on the lanes? Chris Barnes, one of the world's best human bowlers, and EARL, the world's best robot bowler, faced off to find out.

EARL, the Enhanced Automated Robotic Launcher, is the latest and greatest in robot bowling technology. It can hurl balls at 24 MPH and 900 RPM. Neil Stremmel, the Managing Director for the United States Bowling Congress, says it's incredibly consistent—consistent to a third of a board at 15 feet down the lane. I don't know exactly what that means, but the way this guy says it makes it sound like it's a really impressive feat.

But as it turns out, being consistent to a third of a board at 15 feet down the lane might be a little too consistent. While EARL was still working out the kinks in his toss, human super bowler Chris Barnes was throwing strike after strike—7 in a row, in fact—and ultimately bested EARL 259 to 209. Score one for opposable thumbs!


Robots, however, can take solace in the fact that they're still far better at standing the pins back up. [BotJunkies]