The TUM robot GARMI, actually developed to care for elderly people, had a very special assignment this weekend: The autonomous service humanoid presented trophies to the winners at the Women’s Ski World Cup awards ceremony in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Complying with Corona social distancing regulations GARMI presented each of the three fastest downhill racers, Corinne Suter and Jasmine Flury of Switzerland as well as Austria’s Cornelia Hütter, with a five kilogram mountain sculpture in the finishing area of the renowned Kandahar run. And the robot waved a flag as the German national anthem was played. This was GARMI’s first assignment outdoors.
GARMI was developed at the Geriatronics site of the TUM Munich Institute of Robotics and Machine Intelligence (MIRMI) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. MIRMI Founding Director Prof. Sami Haddadin said: "GARMI’s participation in the world-famous Kandahar Alpine ski race was a wonderful opportunity to show to an international audience how robotics technology developed at the TUM Geriatronics Research Center in Garmisch-Partenkirchen can contribute to people’s safety in times of Corona. It was an exciting use case and event where the team explored and adapted our technology’s possibilities to a challenging outdoor environment in just a matter of weeks."
GARMI’s actual function is to serve as a development platform for autonomous robots that will in the future be able to assist elderly people in everyday life and to support rehab after injuries or illnesses. This is intended to lessen the burden placed on healthcare and medical personnel. The ultimate objective is to enable seniors to live independent and self-determined lives for as long as possible.