Robots Cater For Olympic Athletes
Written by Lucy Black   
Sunday, 23 January 2022

Robots will play a vital role in the Bejing Olympic Winter Games  - that of feeding the two thousand athletes and officials who will be confined within the Olympic Village for the duration of the Games.

To keep both the athletes and the Chinese population safe strict Covid regulations are being imposed for the upcoming Winter Olympics taking place in Bejing from February 4th to 20th. This doesn't just mean no crowds of spectators, it also extends to no food deliveries from the outside world. Instead, the athletes and other participants housed in the purpose-built Olympic Village will be catered for by an army of robots.

We are already familiar with the wheeled robots that will be be used not only for transport supplies and equipment but also for disinfection. What is new is the way in which robots are both preparing food en masse and taking it direct to the table. 

In the video we first see the pink delivery robots transport dishes of steaming noodles to customers who lift the dishes from the tray. What is noteworthy is its use of an ingenious overhead grid. This is such an obvious solution for a canteen where the position of diners is fixed that its novelty comes as a surprise. Why has nobody come up with this idea before? And if they have why don't we already know about it?

Then we get to see inside the kitchen area - but it's only a fleeting glimpse and not enough to demonstrate how: 

Foods such as as rice and burgers will be prepared by robotic chefs.

Our past encounters with robotic chefs, admittedly a long time ago, suggested they were too slow to keep up with the demands of a kitchen catering for hundreds of people. But presumably if operations can be broken down into small enough tasks and the robot workforce is big enough, then having robots do the repetitive bits assists the human kitchen staff.

Hopefully, this marks the beginning of a great human-robot partnership.


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Last Updated ( Sunday, 23 January 2022 )