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A humanoid robot carried the Olympic torch in South Korea

Swapna Krishna

One of the traditions of the Olympics is the torch relay, in which people carry the flame from Olympia, Greece to the location of the Games. In 2018, the Olympic Games will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the torch relay is currently underway. Earlier this week, the HUBO, the humanoid robot, carried the flame for part of its journey.

HUBO only covered 150 meters (about 500 feet) with the torch, but its presence was largely symbolic. As part of its torch duties, HUBO performed an example of a disaster rescue operation in which it cut a hole in a brick wall (while still holding the torch). It was intended as a "display of innovation and creativity," according to PyeongChang 2018 Organizing Committee President LEE Hee-beom.

(Pyeongchang 2018)

It's a little bit silly, especially considering it was largely a stunt, but it doesn't change the fact that HUBO is Korea's first humanoid robot and what it accomplished was pretty cool. It has two articulated hands and can walk 65 steps per minute. It's being designed as a first-responder robot (hence the display of its abilities). It will be interesting to see how it develops from here, but for now, we know that HUBO is quite capable of participating in stunt demonstrations at least.

Pyeongchang 2018

  • This article originally appeared on Engadget.