Robots are having their own Olympics, but they kind of suck at skiing
Don’t worry, the robot uprising isn’t coming yet. The mechanic athletes competing Hoengseong, about an hour outside Pyeongchang, South Korea are a mess.
Eight robotics teams from South Korea’s research institutes, universities and a private company competed in a tournament called “Edge of Robot: Ski Robot Challenge.” The goal? Race robots down a ski slope without crashing and take home $10,000.
The whole tournament is pretty adorable. This leashed robot, named Ludobi, made it through the slaloms without hitting any obstacles, but had its human creators trotting after it.
But Taekwon V — dressed in children’s skiwear and named after a Korean cartoon — had a more difficult time, and seemed to crash into every pole. Here’s a video of the robot from last month.
It got the hang of it eventually. As the above video by Minirobot Corp shows, Taekwon V can sense when to turn by identifying the colors of the poles it’s supposed to avoid.
The little robots captured people’s hearts.
And it made people really reconsider what humanity is doing with its resources.
The Edge of Robot tournament was crowdfunded. Its Facebook page includes stats about every robotic athlete. To qualify, each competitor had to have a humanoid figure, standing on two legs that bent at the knee joints.
If Black Mirror was a sitcom instead of a technological horror anthology, this would probably be it.
The little guys are at least trying their best.