With robots showcasing their wide-spanning skills in various fields ranging from education to healthcare and service industries, South Korea is looking to seek help from a team of robots during the upcoming Winter Olympics 2018.
The South Korean ministry of trade, industry and energy said on Wednesday (6 November) that it plans to employ a whopping 85 robots to work as volunteers during the multi-sport event, set to kick-off on 9 February 2018.
The ministry added they will use 11 different types of robots at the global event, according to a report in Yonhap news agency.
Robots will be deployed across airports, stadiums and event venues located in three cities — Pyeongchang, Gangneung and Jeongseon.
While a humanoid robot developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) will be a torchbearer on a route near the institute on 11 February, bots capable of speaking English, Japanese and Korean will act as information providers. They will assist people on event schedules, places to go sightseeing and transportation options.
People visiting the Asian nation for the sporting event will also get to see paint robots drawing murals on stadium walls, autonomous delivery robots and fishing robots.
The move will likely result in some human volunteers losing their jobs. Typically, over 20,000 volunteers are involved in events like Winter Olympics to assist in a range of tasks from conducting the sporting events to providing medical services, handling media operations, technology and language services. Meanwhile, it is still not clear how many humans will be replaced by the bots in the upcoming event.
The South Korean government's robotic measures will also be coupled with LG's latest pair of airport robots, which went into trial a few months back.
While one of the two mini robots will serve as a guide to help tourists navigate their way through Incheon International — South Korea's largest airport serving 57 million travellers a year; the other — a cleaning robot — will be seen sweeping the airport clean, Business Insider reported.