|Slalom Skiing New Robot Sport|
|Written by Lucy Black|
|Saturday, 17 February 2018|
The world’s first robot ski tournament was staged this week in South Korea alongside the PyeongChang Winter Olympics with eight humanoid robots taking part. It was the smallest robot that won the $10,000 prize for slalom skiing.
The Ski Robot Challenge was held at the Welli Hilli Park ski resort in Hoengseong with the aim of promoting South Korea’s robotic technology during the Olympics.
Teams had to follow a few basic rules: Each robot had to be humanoid in form, with two legs and joints resembling knees and elbows. They also had to be at least 50 centimeters tall, use an independent power supply, and wield regular poles and skis.
They competed on an 80-meter giant slalom alpine skiing course, in which they had to zig-zag through five flag gates marked by colored poles. One point was awarded for each gate passed. The robots are evaluated based on the number of points they receive and their finishing time with the best performance over three rounds used to determine the winner.
This video from the Korea Herald tells the story:
In his accompanying report Sohn Ji-young notes:
Decked out in professional ski suits and winter hats, the two-legged robots wearing a pair of skis skid down the slopes without human intervention, giving spectators a glimpse of South Korea’s latest robotics technology.
Hit hard by the biting cold and strong winds, many of the participating robots malfunctioned and crashed midway, while some successfully maneuvered themselves down the slope to arrive at the finish line.
The robots in the competition relied on two core technologies vision sensing to recognize their own position and the location of the red and blue-colored flagpoles and motor control such as slowing down to the right speed by maneuvering leg movement, and making the appropriate turn to the right or the left so it passes through each flag gate.
The winning robot Taekwon V built by Mini Robot is 75 centimeters tall and weighs 12 kilograms gained 5 points achieved a record time 18 seconds. In second place was Skiro, built by the Pohang-based Korea Institute of Robot and Convergence. With a height of 80 cm and weighing 15 kg it also gained five points its best time was 22.25 seconds. In third place was Kookmin University’s robot RoK-2, which is 140 cm tall and weighs 30 kg. It earned 2 points by passing through two flag gates and had a finishing time of 15.46 seconds.
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|Last Updated ( Saturday, 17 February 2018 )|