Harbin Hosts International Humanoid Robot Olympics

As the eyes of the world bore hungrily into the London 2012 medal table, China Daily’s Wang Kaihao reports from the International Humanoid Robot Olympic Games in Harbin and talks to the competition’s executive chairman, 77-year-old Harbin Institute of Technology professor Hong Bingrong.

“It’s not right to treat them as toys. They are humanoid and should be treated in the same way as the growth of humans – from infancy first.”

Hong expects more robots to take on household duties in the near future and that explains why he has added some special items for the first time in the contest, including carrying trays, pulling carts and collecting rubbish.

“Robot is a lovely mechanical spirit which mixes math, electronics, computer science and machinery together,” says Li Deyi, chief of CAAI and an academician at Chinese Academy of Engineering. “But people tend to feel disconnected from it in their daily life. We have to create public awareness so that the general public accepts the wider use of robots. That is the aim of this competition.”

[…] Hong says he is happy with the creativity of the young contestants in the contest. “We need the inspiration of more young people. I’m 77 years old, and I cannot be a general without an army. I want to retire, but it is not the right time yet,” he says.

A non-humanoid American robot took gold in the 563 billion meters on Sunday with a time of eight and a half months.


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