The Ski Robot

Posted By: The Ski Channel on July 21, 2009 3:21 pm

The line between art and science blurs once more.  Researchers from Kanazawa University in Japan are in the beginning stages of cultivating an experimental ski robot.  The purpose lies within an investigation on the effects of joint motions during ski turns.  As a result, skiers can apply this new-found knowledge in hopes of improving their own movements.

The ski robot’s potential success begs the question, is this a fair tool?  Hopefully this resource could be extremely helpful in regards to preventing injury.  However, would this technology be available to every racer and/or competitor? 

There have been various attempts to create the ski robot; however, the complexity of spontaneous obstacles stood in the way.  In one instance, researchers attempted to model a real skier, but again, they faced several challenges. Their robot consisted of two legs attached to a pair of skis, and a large “waist” that contained the computer and battery. They had to modify certain values, such as the ratio of the robot’s center of mass to its ski separation distance.  Modifying these values was necessary because the correct human ratio was very prone to falling over.

We’re intrigued and will, as always, keep you updated.

   Photo by:  T. Yoneyama