Japan unveils chatty robot volunteers to assist during 2020 Olympics

Next year when the Olympics take place, Japan is making sure to spice them up by adding technology in form of waist
Published March 16, 2019

Next year when the Olympics take place, Japan is making sure to spice them up by adding technology in form of waist-high, chatable robots to serve as human assistants.

The organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics unveiled two robots and a powered exoskeleton that will be deployed in the games to help workers and attendees during the 2020 Olympics.

The robots are made by Toyota and will direct people to their seats, provide them with relevant information, and also carry food and drinks. There will be a Human Support Robot (HSR) that contains a built-in arm for picking up trays and baskets, and a Delivery Support Robot (DSR) that looks similar to a mobile waste bin but can also ferry items around, detailed The Verge.

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There will be sixteen robots deployed at Tokyo 2020 venues and the organizers hope they will be specifically helpful for the wheelchair users. “We have been looking at how we can support the daily lives of people, and how we can develop robots that can partner with daily life,” Toyota general manager Minoru Yamauchi told The Associated Press. “In the Tokyo Olympics, there will be many guests in wheelchairs and we would like them enjoy the games without worrying about their mobility.”

Along with the robots, the exoskeletons called Power Assist Suits made by Panasonic will also be used. These will be worn by workers in order to help them lift and move heavy items and baggage. The suits won’t be used in the venues themselves, but instead at related facilities and airports.

Panasonic claims that the suits improve a worker’s efficiency by 20% by permitting them to life heavy loads with less effort and work without pain. “We would like to have a society where people can work without caring about gender differences or age differences,” Panasonic general manager Yoshifumi Uchida told the AP. “When you are carrying a suitcase or a heavy box, this is where the Power Assist Suit becomes valuable.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019


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