I'm reading this article about a 17 inch robot named Zeno. It was made to be a synthetic companion but I think its real future is in baseball. Zeno would make a perfect batboy. Just imagine this little Pinocchio looking robot running around shagging balls. The ballplayers would love it because they wouldn't have to tip the batboys anymore and after they hit a homerun they can hug the little robot without awkwardness that a hug for a real boy would create.
The only problem is this little robot doesn't actually walk or talk yet. He just blinks and tracks you with his eyes. Let's be honest who doesn't like having a robot tracking you with its eyes? Apparently Zeno can show a wide variety of emotions but for now all he can do is sit there trapped in his body and make murderous plans.
This shouldn't stop the MLB from getting Zeno to sit in the dugout so that the players can become used to him for a few years before he learns to do his job. He'll just sit there and watch you walk back and forth. You'll turn around to grab another bag of seeds or can of chewing tobacco and there he'll be smirking and staring you down... the little prick.
Zeno acting like a real boy still seems to be a ways off, but they are making some strides.
Woah! Wrinkle its nose in anger? Why is this little f*cker being programmed to be angry? This is the one draw back that you have with all robots, at some point they are are going to try hunt you down and kill you. But I guess that's what you have to deal with in the name of progress.
By 2020 I predict that all bat boys, ball girls and Pad Squadders will be replaced with robots and we will be much happier, until they kill us.