Meet the Advanced and Adorable Robots of the Tokyo 2020 Games - By Elizabeth Jeneault
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Meet the Advanced and Adorable Robots of the Tokyo 2020 Games

By Elizabeth Jeneault for The J-Pop Exchange

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games aim to be the most innovative and technologically-advanced ever and part of that effort includes an extensive robot project. The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee announced the project back in March and now, we’re getting a closer look at the robots that will be used during the Summer Games!

Several different kinds of robots have been developed, including the adorable “mascot-type” robots. Organizers hope they help make the 2020 Games an unforgettable experience. The robots aren’t just designed to impress, though. Several will help those who are unable to get to the games, as well as visitors with limited mobility. Organizers say that falls in line with one of Tokyo 2020’s core visions, “Unity in Diversity.”

The project has required a significant amount of collaboration between Tokyo 2020 organizers, experts in the field of robotics, and various company partners. The Toyota Motor Corporation is more involved than any other company with the project, though. The Japanese car giant has developed a slew of futuristic robots that will greet fans, assist people with limited mobility, retrieve items at throwing events, and more!

Visitors will be able to shake hands with robot versions of the mascots for the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. Adorable robot versions of Miraitowa and Someity were developed by Toyota. They will greet athletes and guests at Tokyo 2020 Games venues and other locations. In case you’re wondering how the robots greet people, there are cameras mounted to their foreheads which allow them to recognize when people are nearby and react to them. They even have a variety of facial expressions!

The “T-HR3 Humanoid” robot will help bring the Tokyo 2020 Games to those with limited mobility. It’s designed to help folks feel like they’re part of the Summer Games. The “T-TR1” robot is also aimed at providing a unique experience to people who can’t attend. Developed by Toyota Research Institute in the United States, the virtual mobility robot is equipped with a camera atop a large, life-size display. It will give people the chance to virtually attend the Games, with an on-screen facility allowing conversations between the two locations.

There will also be human support “HSR” robots, which will guide guests to their seats. The Toyota delivery support “DSR” robots, meanwhile, will deliver pre-ordered food and drinks. They’re anticipated to serve over 1,000 fans requiring mobility assistance.

Finally, the field support “FSR” robots will assist at throwing events at the Olympic Stadium. They can impressively self-navigate when retrieving items thrown by athletes, like hammers or javelins. The robots will help reduce the amount of time needed to retrieve the items, as well as the amount of human support that’s required at those events. Toyota and Tokyo 2020 have developed the robot with the help of the International Association of Athletics Federation.

We should learn even more about these robots as the 2020 Games near. More than 400 children have already had a chance to meet the robot version of mascot Miraitowa, though, so the robots may start making more appearances soon!

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