FLAME ON, HUBO!
One of the traditions of the Olympics is the torch relay, in which people carry the flame from
Olympia, Greece to the location of the Games. In 2018, the Olympic Games will be held in
Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the torch relay is currently underway.
HUBO, the humanoid robot, carried the flame for part of its journey.
HUBO only covered 150 meters (about 500 feet) with the torch, but its presence was largely
symbolic. As part of its torch duties, HUBO performed
an example of a disaster rescue operation in which it
cut a hole in a brick wall (while still holding the torch).
It was intended as a "display of innovation and
creativity," according to PyeongChang 2018 Organizing
Committee President LEE Hee-beom.
Okay, maybe it's a little silly — especially
considering it was largely a stunt — but it doesn't
change the fact that HUBO is Korea's first humanoid
robot and what it accomplished was pretty darn cool.
It has two articulated hands and can walk 65 steps
per minute. It's being designed as a first-responder
robot (hence, the display of its abilities). It will be
interesting to see how it develops from here, but for
now, we know that HUBO is quite capable of
participating in stunt demonstrations at least.
bots IN BRIEF
SERVO 02.2018 15
CAN YOU SEE
robots are designed for
business use. They’re
expensive, but the
argument is that they
work significantly better
than a phone call, and they
pay for themselves since
you don’t have to spend so
much time and money
OhmniLabs, a Silicon
Valley robotics startup
with CMU roots, wants to
make telepresence robots easy and affordable enough that people start using them to stay
connected with their families.
In order for that to work, their telepresence robot called Ohmni is designed to be as
independent as possible. You can send it to someone who isn’t comfortable at all with tech, and
they can take it out of the box, turn it on, and it’ll just work. It’s potentially ideal for family
members who you don’t live close to, or elderly family members who you like to talk to (and
check up on) regularly.