World

There’s no gold in their future, but they’re tearing up South Korean ski slopes

In this screen grab from a Reuters video, a robot skis down a slope at Dunnae, South Korea, as part of what was billed the world’s first robot skiing competition.
In this screen grab from a Reuters video, a robot skis down a slope at Dunnae, South Korea, as part of what was billed the world’s first robot skiing competition. Reuters

If after the first weekend of Winter Olympic coverage you’ve found yourself already sick of endless figure skating and curling coverage, it’s not the only competition South Korea has to offer.

While the world’s top athletes competed for gold, silver and bronze at Peyongchang, what was billed as the world’s first robot skiing competition was held Sunday at nearby Dunnae. Eight teams competed for a $10,000 prize, according to msn.com.

According to a story about the event on skysports.com, the competition, which was not an official Olympic event, was staged to allow South Korea a chance to show off its robot technology.

“Our robots cannot race in the Olympics so we organized this race during the Olympic period so that we can show South Korea’s robotic technology to the world,” event organizer Kim Dong-Uk told skysports.com.

“I think in the future, robots will have their own Winter Olympics, on the sidelines of the Olympics held by humans.”

According to Twitter posts by Ryan Leverton, rules required the robot to be humanoid, bipedal and at least 50 centimeters tall. They had to ski without human control and hold their poles the entire time:

Here’s what a couple people had to say about the robot competitors on Twitter:

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