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article imageRobots, drones to help secure 2018 Winter Olympics in S. Korea

By Lucky Malicay     Aug 18, 2016 in Sports
Organizers will deploy robots and drones to help secure the 2018 Games in South Korea in what is expected to be the most high-tech Winter Olympics in history.
Lee Hee-Beom, the organizing committee president, said South Korea's technology will play a big part in the Winter Olympics, which will be held in Pyeongchang. The eastern Korean city will also host the 2018 Winter Paralympics.
"We are preparing state-of-the-art technologies," Lee told AFP. "As you know, Korea is well advanced in the IT business.”
While Lee refused to go into detail, he said the organizers are preparing lots of virtual reality technologies for the Games, which has an initial budget of $2 billion.
"We have many advanced companies including Samsung and other venture companies so we are developing state-of-the-art technologies in the area of information technology, and we will use state-of-the-art technologies including robots,” Lee said.
"We are preparing lots of things. Virtual reality, some other things. You can come and see it."
During the Games, which will run from February 9 to 25, South Korea may deploy its very own HUMO humanoids, the award-winning robots equipped with the ability to see, walk, climb stairs and recognize voice.
The HUMO robot, developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), can even drive a vehicle and repair a leaking valve, performances that made it win the $2 million prize in last year’s Robotics Challenge held in Los Angeles, California.
Organizers are also aiming for a language barrier-free Pyeongchang Games as two government agencies agreed in December 2015 to come up with tools that will automatically interpret the Korean language.
The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop an automatic translation technology covering seven languages.
"Language services have been provided on a limited basis for protocol purposes until now, however now Pyeongchang 2018 will serve as a benchmark where everyone from all over the world can enjoy automatic interpretation and translation services regardless of time and place,” said Kim Sang-pyo, the Vice President of Venues and Infrastructure for the Pyeongchang Games.
The Games can also be enjoyed through 360 degree virtual reality viewing as a leading South Korean mobile carrier will provide a fifth-generation (5G) technology with a feature that allows those at home to watch matches in many directions and angles.
More about Winter olympics, Winter Olympics 2018, South Korea, Robots, virtual reality viewing
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