December 4, 2023

A virtual management platform at Fenghuangshan Sports Park Gymnasium.

More than 170 high-tech products are being used at the Chengdu Universiade, leaving a lasting impression on the attendees.

By sportswriters He Leijing and Li Qianwei

CHENGDU, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) — Playing table tennis with a robot or having a cup of coffee made by a robot? Here at the ongoing Chengdu Universiade, cutting-edge technologies are capturing everyone’s imagination.

From broadcasting to security and medical services, a wide range of advanced products using technologies like 5G, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence have been employed to create a smart Universiade.

According to Chengdu’s science and technology department, more than 170 high-tech products have been deployed at over 30 venues to offer support for hosting, participating in, and watching the events.


Athletes and visitors from around the world can be dazzled by a group of special staff at the World University Games hosted by the capital of southwest China’s Sichuan province.

Designed in line with the event mascot “Rongbao”, panda-like robots have been well-received among participants of the Games. With high-precision vision and obstacle-avoiding skills, they can provide intelligent services including information, translation, and navigation.

The chubby robots could also be lifesavers. After receiving an emergency call, they will rush to the location, automatically open the built-in emergency kit, and play a video tutorial for using the defibrillator. They can simultaneously establish remote video connections with medical experts for professional guidance.

At the table tennis venue of the High-tech Zone Sports Center Gymnasium, a “training partner robot” has arrested much attention.

Table tennis robots at High-tech Zone Sports Center Gymnasium.

With a mechanical arm tossing a ping-pong ball upward and the other arm swinging the racket, the one-meter-tall robot skillfully hits the ball to the opponent on the other side. It can perform precise actions like topspin, backspin, and push shots during serving.

“Compared with human beings, the robot has more precise control over the speed and spin,” said Li Pengfei, a trainer from a table tennis association in Chengdu, who played with the robot.

“The robot can help players improve their observation and anticipation skills for the opponent’s serving actions. They can repeatedly practice a specific type of serve, making their training more targeted and effective,” Li added.

A smart coffee-making robot can be found in the athletes’ village. Equipped with deep learning systems, it can produce up to 10 types of coffee. Just wait a few minutes, and it can finish all the work, including grinding coffee beans, filtering, brewing, and making latte art.


Various high-tech elements were used to create a splendid opening ceremony that was held on July 28. Wang Ruixiang, the general producer of the ceremony, said that they developed 40 laser gears to achieve the ideal visual effect.

“The whole opening ceremony, from the performances to the ignition of the cauldron, is highly tech-driven,” Wang said.

The torch of the Games, based on aerospace engine technologies, has been tapped into a combustion system to ensure that it is stable and green. The processes of fuel injection and air mixing have been optimized to make the flame dance elegantly.

New energy buses are put into use for transportation service during Chengdu Universiade. (Xinhua/Wang Xi)

When athletes travel between the village and venues, they can hop on self-driving new energy buses. Relying on sophisticated sensors, the vehicles can achieve a perception range of 200 meters and can drive without a blind area.

The aquatics center features an intelligent water treatment system, which automatically monitors water quality and controls temperature, and the scoring system can reach an accuracy of one ten-thousandth of a second.

To keep the venues of the Games cool amid the summer heat while maintaining low carbon emissions, architects have designed hourglass-shaped alleys inside buildings that can increase airflow.

Cooling technologies are also applied to the volunteers who have to work in the open air in the hot weather in Chengdu. They can wear cooling vests, which are made of a phase-change material that is often used for aerodynamic cooling in aerospace engineering.

“I believe that the innovative high-tech applications at the Universiade will leave a lasting impression on the attendees,” said Guo Ji, a member of the executive committee of the Games.

“And the high-tech facilities will be open to the public after the Universiade, benefiting more people as a lasting legacy,” Guo added. 


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