Robots ready for Beijing Winter Olympic Games to reduce contact amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Published: Nov 04, 2021 12:34 AM
The photo taken on October 26, 2021 shows the disinfection robot in Wukesong Stadium. Photo: VCG

The photo taken on October 26, 2021 shows the disinfection robot in Wukesong Stadium. Photo: VCG

The venues for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games have been equipped with all types of high-tech tools to ensure the global sports event is held without a hitch. Among these, robots built for various purposes are also ready, providing both convenience and an additional layer of safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a video posted by the China News Service on Tuesday, a robot grinds coffee beans and then places the resulting grounds in a percolator to brew a cup of coffee. The whole process only takes four minutes. 

The China News Service reported that these robots are common in the Wukesong Stadium in Beijing's Haidian district, which will hold test runs for ice hockey events, from Sunday to Wednesday, involving more than 100 athletes and staff.

Another kind of robot helps out with logistics at the stadium. The logistics robot can carry up to 300 kilograms of goods and perform contactless distribution at the venue. 

The intelligent path-finding robot can move freely, avoid obstacles and automatically recharge itself. The most important goal is to reduce direct contact between people, the report said.

Employees only need to put the items they want on the logistics robot and it will carry them to a delivery station where the items are unloaded. The robot will notify the pickup person with a text message when it arrives and costumers can pick up their goods with a verification code. After delivery, the robot returns to its docking station for disinfection and to recharge. 

Besides the logistics robot, the stadium has also been equipped with contactless intelligent distribution cabinets which can solve the problem of delivering items in that last kilometer. The cabinets have intelligent storage and pickup, remote monitoring and information functions.

"How can the competitions be held amid the COVID-19 pandemic? We are in the Haidian district, so we have some high-tech products developed here such as disinfection robots and contactless delivery robots, which are one of the highlights of our event during the pandemic," Shi Wei, deputy director of the stadium, told media.

This type of delivery robot has also become a part of the lives of ordinary Chinese. One employee of a hotel in Chengde, North China's Hebei Province, told the Global Times on Wednesday that her hotel has been using for a while now a room service robot to take items to guests. 

She mentioned that "some customers like ordering take-out food from their rooms and the robot can pick it up at the gate and send it upstairs taking the elevator. Customers have been quite satisfied with it."

Anta, the official sportswear partner of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, also incorporated high-tech design elements to ensure athletes do not get cold. 

Anta uses warmth retention materials, such as far infrared graphene and super down feathers with nanoscale protection layers, to fight off the cold.

The Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games announced in October that the Olympic Village will officially open on January 27, 2022, and all of the preparations for the games have been completed in terms of pandemic prevention, venues and facilities, transportation and environmental protection.