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Curling robot makes debut at Winter Olympics| Updated: Feb 23, 2022 L M S

A curling robot developed by Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Shanghai Intelligent Manufacturing R&D and Transformation Functional Platform - located in the Lin-gang Special Area - made its debut at the Ice Cube, the venue for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics curling competitions, on Feb 18.

The robot has six legs: the four at the rear are used for sliding on the curling sheet, while the two at the front are used for casting the curling stone.

During its debut, the robot made six successful takeouts.


A curling robot developed by Shanghai Jiao Tong University made its debut at the Ice Cube on Feb 18. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Gao Feng, a mechanical engineering professor at the university who led the research team behind the robot, said this is the first legged robot that can play curling in the world — previous curling robots relied on wheels to move on the ice.

"Human players control the sliding speed and throwing force in curling, and this involves complex decision making," Gao said.

"Gathering all the information with the sensors and creating the dynamic mechanism were among the many challenges we faced."

Gao's team had also developed a legged ski robot for the Games, which passed all its trials in January.

The curling and skiing robot projects were supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, according to the university.

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