Skiing Robots Crashing into Things is Our Favorite Winter Sport

Robot Alexi takes a tumble

Robot Alexi takes a tumble Credit KIM HONG-JI

The world's first Ski Robot Challenge took place at the beginning of the week and the sight of robots skiing unaided down a slalom course has proved to be one of the biggest headline grabbers of the Games so far.

The Ski Robot Challenge was organized by South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy in conjunction with the Korea Institute for Robot Industry Advancement.

There was an introduction for robots at the Winter Olympic games on Monday, as the slopes of Pyeongchang played host to mechanical competitors. As well as this, the robots were kitted out with camera sensors allowing them to detect red and blue flags dotted on the slope and turn around them accordingly, which you can see in the video above.

The TAEKWAN-V team took home the honours with teams awarded points not only for the speed in which the robot completes the course, but also the number of flagpoles it weaved past. "I heard the Alpine skiing has been postponed again due to wind conditions", said Minirobot Corp. member Lee Sok-min.

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As reported by The Verge, the contest paid $10,000 to the victor, which doesn't seem like enough money to build a robot that can ski.

The skiing robots are extremely entertaining to watch. "That's a pity. Robots are doing fine here".

The race wasn't an official Olympic competition, but it gave South Korea a chance to show off its love of robotic technology to the world. One of the organisers Kim Dong-uk even noted that in future robots may have winter "Olympics' of their own".

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