Only robots allowed at China's next Olympics

'Robot Olympics' to be held next June

China plans to hold a robot Olympics next June with events including combat, dancing and track and field, state-run media said late Wednesday.

Organizers expect more than 100 universities from 20 countries to send entrants to the first International Humanoid Robot Olympic Games, which is limited to humanoid robots with two arms and two legs, the official Xinhua news agency said. Wheeled robots will be barred.

The goal of the games, to be held in the northern Chinese city of Harbin, is to help make robots smart enough to serve people in their homes, Xinhua said, citing an organizer at the Harbin Institute of Technology. Domestic service will be another field at the event and include cleaning and medical care competitions, the report said.

The event follows the successful summer Olympic games held in Beijing last year, a strong source of pride for the country. China's top leaders have long viewed technology as a crucial economic sector and sought to build the country's record in IT achievements. The government has funded various research projects for the country to create its own technologies, ranging from an unpopular line of CPUs to the country's own next-generation standard for mobile communication.

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Owen Fletcher

IDG News Service
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