Technological development these days has such power to impress. Just imagine the possibilities: Walls made of water to protect future astronauts; two rat brains linked and controlled with the power of a lever; a warp drive to go faster than the speed of light.
And, most awe-inspiring of all, a robotic goalkeeper capable of stopping Lionel Messi from the penalty spot.
Thanks to the wonderful world of Japanese television, such a gizmo does actually exist.
In a recent appearance on a Japanese gameshow, Messi came head-to-head with it. And much like the chessmaster Garry Kasparov against the computer Deep Blue, Messi pretty much met his match.
Video of the gameshow segment appears above. It serves as our Set Piece Video of the Day for this Monday as we all sweat out the prolonged uncertainty over Messi's hamstring. Enjoy.
(Speaking of the injury, Spanish publication Marca has the latest news here. Basically, the report says we still don't know and won't know until Wednesday. So that's something.)
The keeper gets the best of Messi at first, leaving the little Argentine clearly vexed. Messi eventually wins a duel, but we're willing to bet Cristiano Ronaldo has already made inquiries about signing the robot for Real Madrid next season.
What do you think, readers? Was the robot keeper an accurate reproduction of a human shot-stopper? Or were its reflexes unrealistically fast? Oh, and isn't there a good chance Michel Platini has already moved to outlaw it?
(h/t Who Ate All The Pies)