Humanoid robot debuts as Olympic torchbearer in South Korea
Award-winning HUBO robot ran for 160 kilometres with the torch
By Chyung Eun-ju
A robot carried the Olympic torch in the torch relay for the first time in Daejeon.
DRC-HUBO, a humanoid robot created by the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, sat at the controls with torchbearer Dennis Hong, engineering professor in UCLA, as passenger. Hong handed the torch to HUBO, who ran for 160 kilometres.
HUBO won the DARPA Robotics Challenge in 2015 and re-enacted one of its award-winning moves. The robot broke through a wall to hand the Olympic flame to its developer Professor Oh Jun-ho.
“Through the robots’ participation in the Olympic Torch relay, we were able to show the world how far Korea’s robotics industry has developed, and show people the different ways that robots could be used in the near future,” said Oh.
Oh’s FX-2 robot, a next generation riding robot, carried the torch as well with a young aspiring scientist, Lee Jeong-jae, 14, in the pilot seat.
The pilot controlled the robot’s movements through the data-arm. Lee piloted the robot to grasp the torch with its five fingers.