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This Winter Olympics, 12 types of robots at your service

This Winter Olympics, 12 types of robots at your service

Robots swarming in 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang to serve visitors, athletes and delegates with food, drinks and directions show South Korea's automaton way of hosting the Winter Olympic Games for the first time, with the country deciding to deploy at least 12 kinds of robots presented here in a list below:

Olympic torch-carrying humanoid

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology’s (Kaist’s) Hubo robot is the first unit deployed by the country for the event. In December last year, the humanoid carried the Olympic torch, clearing a path for itself through a makeshift wall, set up as an obstacle, to hand the torch to a Kaist professor. In 2015, the humanoid had won Kaist a prize of $2 million by not falling off in order to complete simple tasks like opening doors. The robot also features a Bumble Bee-like ability to switch back and forth from a walking biped to a wheeled machine.

Human-carrying robots

The second robot deployment FX-2, that carried the professor who received the Olympic torch from the humanoid, is an eight-foot-tall human-operated robot weighing more than 600 pounds with a price tag close to $1 million. The robot, developed by a spin-off from Kaist, aims to make humans stronger and disabled people mobile.

Self-driving buses 

Not exactly robots but machines with enough artificial intelligence to stop themselves from driving straight into buildings, trees and, more importantly, human beings, these self-driving buses have been deployed by automobile company Hyundai Motor Co and telecom firm KT Corporation, which jointly developed the 5G-connected vehicles in partnership with South Korea’s ministry of land, infrastructure and transport.

Robot skiers

Yes! You heard it right. Robot skiers or humanoids wearing skis developed by South Korean universities will have their own tournament today.

Mascot robots

A white tiger, otherwise known as Soohorang in South Korea, is the official mascot for the games. Its robotic avatar dances, offers translations and guidance and also takes photos for fans and visitors.

Software company Hancom Inc. partnered robot maker Future Robot Co. Ltd to bring out these bots that speak nine languages to assist visitors.

Robots at airport

LG Electronics Inc., which had first delivered its guide robots to the Incheon International Airport in July 2017, is deploying a series of these units at the airport to guide passengers in four languages -- Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese -- to restaurants, shops and more. 

Cleaning robots

LG's robotic involvement doesn't end with guiding people at the airport. The company is deploying cleaning robots at venues that not only tidy up the ground but also the air. The robot vacuums can clean 900 square meters per hour, avoiding bumping into humans all the while.

Drink-delivery robots 

The country is also deploying drink delivery bots at venues and stadiums having the ability to navigate their way through people in tight indoor setups. 

Infobots

Seek and we shall deliver. South Korea is deploying small information bots throughout venues to move around playing music while projecting important information on the floor in front of them. Information may vary from weather, the schedule for the day or details such as which event is happening at what time in what part of the stadium or in which venue.

Robotic fish

Schools of robotic fish will swim in underwater formations to entertain passers-by. Resembling goldfish, these robots can swim up to 2 metres deep.

Robot artists

Future Robot has developed and deployed a robot that can paint murals on topics such as gold medal winners. According to the portal The Robot Report, the arms of the bot can reach 65 feet high and mix more than 1,000 colours. The robot uses a dot-matrix printer to create the images, it said.

Drone-catching drones

South Korea has deployed drones to take down rogue or unmarked drones at the venues. Some drones are also expected to broadcast content and entertain crowds.

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