I bet you woke up this morning like, “Hey, it would be really nice to see to see some skiing robots today.” Well, you got your wish. In Hoengseong, South Korea, just one province over from PyeongChang, the site of the 2018 Winter Olympics, robots competed in an alpine skiing competition for a $10,000 prize. Eight local robotics teams entered the tournament to showcase their little skiing automatons. In order to qualify, each robot had to be humanoid, in that it needed to be bipedal with joints resembling elbows and knees. Each also needed to stand at least 50 centimeters tall. The freezing temperatures and still-unmastered nature of AI meant many robot wipeouts, but the little engines that could still managed to complete the course with relative precision. The winner, Taekwon V, was built by MiniRobot Corp and was the shortest robot in the game at 75 centimeters tall. V, along with the other robots, used color sensors to navigate its way through the obstacle course. South Korea has been particularly heavy on showcasing their robotics technology during this Olympics. In the opening ceremony, the country showed off an impressive array of drones forming a figure of a snowboarder and of the Olympic rings in the sky while other robots snowboarded down a demanding slope. Additionally, robots have been helping guide Olympics guests and competitors and even been helping to clean. Meanwhile, Boston Mechanics is making terrifying dog-robots that can escape through doors. Please do not give them skis.
[image via screengrab]