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Skiing Robots Crashing into Things is Our Favorite Winter Sport

The robots might have mastered the difficult task of opening a door, but there’s at least one thing we humans are still masters of… and no, we’re not talking about experiencing “love.” We mean hitting the slopes, an activity at which mankind is still squarely in the lead. Want proof? Take a look at this year’s hilarious Ski Robot Challenge showed.

We came across these delightful, primarily incompetent machines at Sploid, and this video is a collection of the best and (mostly) worst performances from the robotics competition that was held this week at Hoenseong’s Welli Hilli resort, about an hour away from the Winter Olympics currently taking place in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Eight teams competed to see which robot could navigate the downhill course in the fastest time for a $10,000 first place prize, which was claimed by Minirobot Corp’s TaekwonV robot who made it around five flags in only 18 seconds. But the real fun isn’t in which robot won; it’s in which robots failed in spectacular, hilarious fashion.

I’m not saying the Winter Games would improve substantially if they welcomed skiing robots into the mix. I’m just saying I would watch that every single night. And morning.

Each robot entered into the competition was required to have a humanoid form, with two legs and knee and elbow joints, and they also had to be at least 50 centimeters (20 inches) tall, and run on an independent power system. Reportedly, the extreme cold during the competition caused some problems for the robots, just as it has for some human athletes in Pyeongchang. In fact, that could have played a factor in TaekwonV’s win, since it was the shortest entrant at 75 centimeters.

But in our hearts they’re all winners. It’s just too bad since they’re robots they can’t appreciate how much we love them. We humans still have “love” and “skiing” over them. For now.

What other winter sport would you love to see the robots try next? Ski on down into our comments section below and let us know your best suggestion.

Images: Robert McGregor

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