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Robots deployed at Wukesong Sports Centre for Beijing 2022

Wukesong Sports Centre, the ice hockey venue for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, is utilising robot technology to aid its preparations for the events.

The Centre, the first venue in China to run two professional sports events at the same time, has a capacity of 18,000 and opened in January 2008 ahead of the Beijing Summer Olympics later that year.

The arena hosted basketball events during Beijing 2008 but has been transformed into a ice hockey venue for the Winter Olympics. Chinese newspaper the People’s Daily reports an array of high-tech tools, including coffee-making robots and logistics robots, have been allocated to Wukesong Sports Centre for Beijing 2022.

The newspaper said that after grinding coffee beans, the coffee-making robot will place the resulting grounds in a percolator to brew a cup of coffee with the whole process only taking four minutes.

The logistics robots can carry goods weighing 30 to 300 kilograms, performing contactless distribution at the venue. These robots can move freely, avoid obstacles and automatically recharge themselves.

Zhang Fan, a manager in charge of the logistics work at the venue, said: “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.”

The Centre is also equipped with contactless intelligent distribution cabinets that can aid the delivery of items during the last kilometre of their journey. The cabinets have functions such as intelligent storage and pickup, remote monitoring and data transmission.

It was reported last month that robots would be utilised at a test event at Wukesong Sports Centre to help implement COVID-19 countermeasures.

Image: N509FZ/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size