VIDEO: ROBOTS COMPETE IN THEIR OWN SKI TOURNAMENTDate: 2018-02-14
At first, reading the headline might seem silly, but at this year's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang are working overtime to showcase Korean robotic technology, featuring robots to clean, guide visitors, drill through a wall to pass on the Olympic torch and now, well, compete in ski tournaments.
The tournament called "Edge of Robot: Ski RobotChallenge", eight robotics teams from research universities, institute and a private company competed for a $10,000 prize to see which robot could ski down the slopes, avoiding obstacles and race to finish in the fastest possible time.
The tournament took place at an 80-metre alpine skiing course at Welli Hilli Ski Resort, an hour away from the games in Pyeongchang. The record-low temperatures affected the robot's functionality, where many of them ended up tumbling down through much of the course. It is quite hilarious and endearing to watch.
To qualify the robots had to fit the requirements of a humanoid robot, such as being able to stand on two legs, have joints resembling elbows and knees, and be a minimum of 50 cm tall. The robot that won the tournament, Teakwon V – named after a Gundam-like robot from the eponymous Korean children's cartoon – was the smallest of all the robots at just 75 cm.
You can see a video from its makers, MiniRobotCorp, below, as well as the whole story of the World's first robot ski tournament.