The Winter Olympics held in South Korea provided a lot of amazement. Apart from the amazing sports, the tension between South and North Korea was also eased. The person who took initiative to ease the tension was Kim Jong Un’s sister. Another event that took place just yesterday amazed the viewers yet again.The Ski Robot Challenge was held at Welli Hilli resort in Hoengseong. The location is only half an hour away from the real Olympic action.
Many robot developers faced each other when they put their latest robot creations to a downhill ski race. The robots did their best to perform the skiing, however, the whole event is more of a reel of bloopers. Seeing these bloopers is actually nice after witnessing the creepy door opening robot by Boston Dynamics. Instead of trained and professional athletes, the competitors were teams from different universities, institutes, and private companies. They were all fighting to get the prize money of $10,000.
The robots were not worried about the bad weather conditions which affected the Olympics. A member of the winning team said, “I heard the Alpine skiing has been postponed again due to wind conditions. That’s a pity. Robots are doing fine here.” The robots had to fulfill some criteria in order to take part in the contest. The minimum height for the robot had to be 50-cm and should be able to stand on its legs. An independent power system and joints were also required to bend their knees and elbows. The robots were also allowed to use skis and poles to help them move around the course. The challenge consisted of a course which was dotted with flags. Robots were using embedded sensors to detect the flag’s location and move on the course accordingly.
The robot that was able to avoid the highest number of flags in the shortest time was awarded points. Many robots made it to the finish line while the competition was won by Taekwon V from Mini Robot. It navigated 5 gates in just 18 seconds. The cold weather proved to be a huge hurdle for the sensitive electronics that were required to get the robots up and skiing.
Putting robots in a sporting event is not something new. There are many weird leagues in the world that get robots to play games or fight each other. The most successful of these events is the RoboCup. It is an annual robotic soccer competition founded in 1997. The cup sees robots of all sizes play a weird version of soccer robot. Most of RoboCup is also based on watching robots fall over. However, they are still doing an amazing job considering the number of times human players fall.