The RoboCup Soccer initiative is well known, and is already well on the way to realizing its goal of creating robot soccer players that can play the game at least as well as, if not better than, their human counterparts. After soccer is dominated by robot players, what comes next? It turns out that some researchers are already demonstrating robot designs that could turn into world class Winter Olympic competitors within the next decade.
A good example is the autonomous skiing robot created by Bojan Nemec in Solvenia. Using onboard video cameras and other sensors, the prototype robot does an excellent job of navigating its way down a down hill ski course.
Nemec’s work was presented at the IEEE/RSJ IROS (International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems) 2009 conference held last week in St. Lous.