By: Nick Gambino

That needs to be one of many strangest titles I’ve ever given an article with out making an attempt to be humorous. It appears this yr’s Winter Olympics noticed greater than people competing in a snowboarding occasion.

There are about 85 completely different robots on the Olympics in Pyeongchang working the sporting occasion in an effort to indicate the best robotic expertise Korea has to supply. Tons of those little guys are there to wash up, supply instructions, serve drinks and the like. However past menial duties, some had been additionally given the prospect to compete within the Fringe of Robotic: Ski Robotic Problem with the chance to win $10,000. That type of dough will definitely assist pay for spare elements.

The problem was easy. Let’s see how briskly the robots may go down a slope, avoiding obstacles the entire method. Factors got for the variety of obstacles averted.

Now, not each robotic on the Olympic Village was eligible to compete. It appears there have been sure necessities that wanted to be met first.

The Guardian reported that, “robots needed to be greater than 50cm in peak, be capable of stand on their very own two legs, have impartial energy techniques, use skis, and poles, and have joints that allowed them to bend their knees and elbows.” In different phrases, they needed to be extra of a humanoid and never simply run on tracks or wheels.

Sensors allowed the robots to detect the pink and blue flags lining the slope that they had been meant to keep away from. Although avoiding them proved difficult for a lot of.

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The occasion was extra comical than something. Most of the robots had been unable to maneuver across the flags and wound up tumbling over like one thing out of Quick Circuit. Some even completed the descent backwards after colliding with an impediment. Whereas the expertise is unquestionably spectacular, it nonetheless doesn’t evaluate to watching Olympic human athletes in motion.

Japan is already planning a robotic presence on the subsequent Winter Olympics in 2020 hosted by Tokyo. So put together your self for some actually bizarre robotic occasions in two years. My cash is on robotic pairs determine skating.