How real is this? Mbappe Training with a robot. Konji Bruno Fernandes Messi Ronaldo Enzo Mercy Sancho Burna Boy Wizkid Davido NAFDAC Alex otti Celine Wike hazard
Did you see that Robot playing table tennis with humans?
The above viral videos have similarities like they are sports and moreover they have robots playing alongside the humans. In the first claim we see a robot playing soccer with the famous french footballer Kylian Mbappe and they both high five after the robot kicked a goal. Some users say that Mbappe is training with a robot and such posts can be viewed here and here.
— GATHY (@gathyinsights) September 2, 2023
Coming to the second claim, we see a robot playing pickleball with three ladies. Some users who shared this viral claim are more curious to know who the winner is. This post is widely spread on social media can be seen here, here, and here.
🎥 jetlifetravel_@Fabriziobustama @Nicochan33 @Shi4Tech @jblefevre60 @MikeQuindazzi @chboursin @mvollmer1 @GlenGilmore @FrRonconi @baski_LA @labordeolivier @gvalan @Hana_ElSayyed @PawlowskiMario @JimHarris… pic.twitter.com/AJWE5XLWWe
— Dev Khanna (@CurieuxExplorer) September 20, 2023
Come, let’s check the veracity of these robot playing sports claims.
What’s the truth?
When we started our research for the first claim, where the footballer Mbappe plays soccer with the robot we were directed towards a YouTube shorts video. This video was uploaded by a channel namely “OussiFooty” on June 2022 and has received 137 million views and 3.7 million likes so far.
When we had a closer look to the shorts video from the YouTube we were shocked to recognise how the man playing with Mbappe is digitally modified into a robot and have created a wave on social media. The computerised work was so perfect that anyone seeing the altered video for the first time won’t even identify the CGI.
We also did a comparison of the original and edited video for your reference as follows:
This proves that the viral video is digitally altered and circulated with false claims.
When we started our research with keyframes from the viral video, it led us to a 16-minute-long version of the match between the four players. This video was uploaded on a YouTube channel namely “House of Pickle” in 27 March 2023 with a title, “Epic ending to the greatest pickleball match EVER! AL Waters/ L. Jansen Vs. A. Koop/M. Brascia.”
If you carefully watch from the 2- minute 57-second watermark, that portion is used in the viral version for alteration. This video of Pickleball competition is from the Major League Pickleball which was held earlier this March at Daytona Beach, Florida.
The Kitchen – A Pickleball Community is the largest Pickleball community in the world also shared a portion of the video on their YouTube page on 4 April 2023 with a title “The most viral point in the pickleball history.”
We also got a Instagram post shared by a user namely, “Kimkomando” whose caption read as, “Check out this pickleball-playing robot! What do you think, real or fake?
Answer: It’s a fake!
That’s some great animation work.”
This footage is from a real match between players Andrea Koop, Maggie Brascia, Anna Leigh Waters, and Lea Jansen. The robot took the place of Anna Leigh Waters. So all those smooth moves are hers. The user’s bio describe her as a radio station host, podcaster, FoxNews & USA Today columnist.
We then compared both the viral and the original video and found that the robot was done with a CGI work replacing a female player and circulated with false narratives on social media.
This proves that the video showcasing the robot playing pickleball is an animated work.
We also debunked one similar claim earlier this year where a robot was seen playing table tennis with a human and can be read here.
Therefore, we conclude through our available evidence that the robots shown playing soccer and pickleball is a CGI work.