The South Korean government is planning to have 85 robots at the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang next month.
In December 2017, a humanoid robot named HUBO, made history by carrying the Olympic torch in the city of Daejeon. It used a tool attached to it’s arm to cut off a huge chunk of wall and hand over the torch to it’s creator, Professor Oh Jun-Ho. He then handed the torch on to another robot, named FX-2.
HUBO, developed a few years ago by the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, was originally designed for rescue missions and won the DARPA robotics challenge in 2015. The FX-2 on the other hand, is a collaboration between HUBO lab and Rainbow Robotics and was built for the purpose of carrying the Olympic torch. It stands at over 8 feet tall and weights close to 600 pounds.
HUBO robots will be used for multiple purposes at the event. They will assist with security with the aim of improving safety amidst the growing fear of terrorist attacks at sporting events. They will also assist the staff with cleaning up the Olympic village and guiding fans and tourists to their destinations.
A plethora of robots will roam in and around the event providing information on transportation schedules, game venues, directions, scores, ticketing information, etc. These robots will also paint murals on the walls to decorate the entire venue and add color to the event.
You can view the video of HUBO with the Olympic Torch below:
Our take on this
This is expected to usher in a new era of robotic technology at all future Olympic events. Tokyo is also mulling leveraging AI at the 2020 Olympics. There will be an entire robot village replete with driverless cars and robots that will translate different languages instantly . It does sound ambitious but would be wonderful to watch. Robots will also help out the judges with the scoring in all the gymnastics events. The 2020 games will be the most futuristic Olympics till date and it’s only going to get better.