Even When You Put Them In Sweaters, Robots Are Terrible Skiers
While actual humans may be using the Olympic games at Pyeongchang to demonstrate how well they can ski, a group of scientists and students about 60 miles away used the snowy conditions to show how well their robot creations can tackle the slopes.
Unfortunately for the great minds behind the robots, it seems that humans are still miles ahead of the robots in this arena. Eight robots competed in a downhill course, and while only one would win the title of “Best Skiing Robot,” the honor was more accurately tantamount to “Least-Awful Skiing Robot.” The modest exercise took the mechanical creations down an 80-meter course complete with ski gates that appeared to exist more as suggestions than actual prerequisites.
In order to gain entry, engineers had to submit “humanoid” robots — ones that resemble a person by having two legs and joints approximating knees and elbows — that must stand at least 50 centimeters (19.7 inches) tall. Sure, that’s far shorter than the average person, but it’s a fair enough stipulation this early on in the “let’s make robots ski” effort.
On the bright side, the robot competitors were wearing some adorable sweaters during the exhibition.
On a slightly darker note, though, the robots lacked heads, which made for a sort of uncanny-valley visual that may be hard for some to forget anytime soon.
While this may be a comical early effort at skiing, it’s clear from the recent work of Boston Dynamics that it’s only a matter of time and funding before these engineers create a mechanical object that puts the likes of Lindsey Vonn or Shaun White to shame.
But in the meantime, let’s delight in the robots’ folly and celebrate our indefinite dominance on the slopes.
Share image via Robert McGregor/YouTube.
Senegal Beats Poland By Scoring The Sneakiest Goal Of The World Cup It was completely legal too.
For Teen Athletes, One Sport Is Good But 2 Or More Is Better A recent “Teen Sport in America” study examines the effects of multi-sport participation.
Here’s What Happens When Kids Run For 15 Minutes A Day The initiative has an endearing backstory.
ESPYs To Posthumously Honor 3 Marjory Stoneman Douglas Coaches For ‘Immeasurable Bravery’ Previous winners include Phil Jackson, Bill Belichick, and Bob Hurley. This year will be different.
New James Cameron Documentary Explores The Athlete Vegan Movement “At our very first screening at the Sundance Film Festival, I had a long line of people who wanted to know how to start eating plant-based RIGHT NOW.”
The U.S. Isn’t In The World Cup, So You Should Root For Iceland Many are choosing the hot underdog from a cool place.
How Skateboarding Flipped Its White Male Image It’s a sport to be enjoyed by all.
‘Star Wars’ Composer John Williams Dissed His Beloved Red Sox By Pitching In An Orioles Jersey Some say he went to the dark side.
High School Pitcher Skips His Team’s Celebration To Console His Friend On The Opposing Team “Our friendship is more important than just the silly outcome of a game.”