The Olympics have always been a celebration of mankind's spirit and ability to spin around upside down really fast. But with the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea right around the corner, the robots are starting to slip in.
As you can see above in a video from Arirang News, a robot carried the Olympic Torch on Monday while cutting through a brick wall. Then he handed the flame to a human person. This is an uplifting image of cooperation and progress from one point of view. From another, it brings ill tidings of the coming robot revolution. Decide for yourself which.
This robot's name is Hubo (sounds innocuous enough), and he was built by the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Hubo is just under 4 feet tall, and allegedly poses no immediate threat to humanity. The man he handed the torch to was Dr. Oh Jun Ho, who was in charge of the team that built him. DRC-HUBO (Hubo's full name) won the $2 million DARPA Robotics Challenge award back in 2015, besting 22 other robots in the process.
"Through the robot's participation in the relay, we were able to show people how far (South) Korea's robotic industry has developed and show people the different ways that robots can be used in the near future," Dr. Oh Jun Ho told Inside the Games.
Crazily, Hubo wasn't even the first robot to pass the flame in the 2018 relay; that was an undersea robotic craft that lacks a cute name like Hubo and performed its task with significantly less pizzaz.
The Pyeongchang Winter Games kick off in February 2018, with no robots competing... yet.