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Beijing Winter Olympic Games venue introduces working robots to reduce COVID-19 contact risk

Beijing Winter Olympic Games venue introduces working robots to reduce COVID-19 contact risk
November 10, 2021

Wukesong Sports Centre, the ice hockey venue for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, has introduced robot technology to aid its preparations for the events - providing both convenience and an additional layer of safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

First opened in January 2008 ahead of the Beijing Summer Olympics later that year, the venue in Beijing's Haidian district hosted basketball events during the 2008 Games and has now been repurposed into an ice hockey arena for the Winter Olympics.

Part of its transformation for the Winter Olympics has included the introduction of a range of technologies, with the China News Service reporting robots being used for various purposes including coffee-making and cleaning and logistical activities.

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.

Another kind of robot helps out with logistics at the venue, able to 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.

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.

Shi Wei, Deputy Director of the venue, told media “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.”

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 27th January next year, and all of the preparations for the games have been completed in terms of pandemic prevention, venues and facilities, transportation and environmental protection.

Image: A disinfection robot in action at the Wukesong Sports Centre (top, credit: VCG) and the exterior of the Wukesong Sports Centre (below).

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James Croll

With a background in adventure tourism, events management and marketing, James Croll is a regular contributor to Australasian Leisure Management and Asian Leisure Business.

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