Just a short drive away from PyeongChang, the site for the 2018 Winter Olympics, the Welli Hilli ski resort held the Edge of Robot: Ski Robot Challenge, where Korean students and tech organizations competed for a $10,000 prize to see whose robot could navigate a simple alpine skiing challenge the fastest.
But when the humanoid-shaped robots started rolling down the slopes, most of them crashed into the flags or skidded right off the course.
The tournament required that robots have two legs and stand over 50 cm tall, with joints at the elbows and knees and an independent power source, according to Reuters.
It turns out that skiing is pretty hard for robots shaped like us. The winning robot, Taekwon-V, sat the shortest of the bunch at only 75 cm (about 2’6”), and skillfully zoomed down the gentle slope in a cute blue jacket with matching skates.
Mimicking human motion and sight
Sam Lee, head of Mini Robot Corp., the team that designed Taekwon-V, said that their kid-sized robot has 21 individualized motors that help it keep its balance and navigate around obstacles