A China-made six-legged skiing robot completes tests on snow slopes in Shenyang, Liaoning Province. (Shanghai Jiao Tong University/Handout via Xinhua)
SHANGHAI, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Skiing competitions are not just for talented athletes, and a robot can also excel at the winter sport. A six-legged robot developed by Chinese researchers has already hit the slopes.
Developed by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the robot made its debut earlier this month by completing several skiing tests on tracks in Shenyang, northeast China's Liaoning Province.
It resembles a dog with four legs fixed on its body for balance and two extra legs holding ski poles. The robot skied down at a speed of more than 10 meters per second over 400 meters on an 18-degree snow track. It performed many maneuvers such as accelerating, turning, route planning, avoiding obstacles, and human-robot interaction.
The university researchers made breakthroughs in developing the robot's key algorithm, enabling it to analyze human skiers' behaviors and mimic human skiing movements. In the future, with the assistance of advanced technologies such as 5G and wireless networks, the robot by remote control can race with human competitors in the same field.
Apart from testing their mettle in skiing competitions, the robot will also do patrol and rescue in snow mountains to help create a safe environment for skiers, the university said. ■