At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, athletes may have to take a bit of a back seat as the real stars of the event may not even be human.
Official partner Toyota is providing a wide variety of robots for the upcoming Tokyo games. They are calling it the “Tokyo 2020 Robot Project” and their bots will be entertaining guests while helping the games run as smoothly as possible. They’ll have a presence at almost every venue and event.
Field Support Robots
Field Support Robots (FSRs) will be assisting athletes by retrieving things like shot-puts, javelins, hammers and anything else that can be thrown. The autonomous robots will also be guiding staff along paths to make sure they avoid obstacles. Officials hope the FSRs will help reduce the amount of time needed to retrieve items as well as cut down on staff needed for events.
What would sports be without mascots? Meet Miraitowa and Someity. They’ll wave, shake hands, cheer on athletes and greet guests at the venues. Facial recognition cameras allow them to recognize when people are nearby which will cause their eyes to respond with a variety of expressions.
T-HR3 & T-TR1
If you can’t make it to every event, the T-HR3 and T-TR1 have you covered. The humanoid T-HR3 can reproduce visual and audio highlights. It can also mimic a human’s every move so if you missed that perfect routine, the T-HR3 can give you an up-close reenactment
The T-TR1 is a virtual mobility robot, equipped with a camera and large display. The robot will give people who are physically unable to be present at games-related locations a chance to virtually attend and interact with other attendees.
Human and Delivery Support
Need help finding your way around or just hungry? The Human Support Robot will help direct people to their seats, carry food, and provide general information. The HSR features a robotic arm that can pick up and grip a wide variety of objects.
Delivery Support Robots will be roaming around the events making deliveries to both Olympic employees and attendees. Both robots will pay special attention to those with limited mobility and make sure they are comfortable while attending the games. According to officials, the robots are anticipated to serve over 1,000 spectators requiring mobility assistance.
“TOYOTA hopes to provide ‘the freedom to move for everyone’ throughout the Games and has developed various mobility solutions, including robots. We believe that the robots will help spectators in wheelchairs to enjoy watching the events without any restrictions, to soak up the atmosphere inside stadiums and to feel the excitement of the sport.” said Nobuhiko Koga, Chief Officer of Frontier Research Center, Toyota.
More Toyota Robots to be Announced
It doesn’t seem Toyota is done as there are plans to announce even more robots and technology as the games get closer. Tokyo is betting heavily on artificial intelligence in the upcoming Olympics. Along with the bots, they’ll also be featuring self-driving vehicles to help visitors get around, exoskeletons to assist workers and advanced facial recognition at major airports.