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Tokyo unveils robots for 2020 Olympics

Organisers showed off robots that will be used at the new National Stadium to provide assistance for fans using wheelchairs. 

Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics

Tokyo's Olympics may become known as the "Robot Games."

Organisers showed off robots that will be used at the new National Stadium to provide assistance for fans using wheelchairs. 

Tokyo Olympic official Masaaki Komiya pointed out that Japan is known for its robot technology, and the 2020 Summer Games are a good place to show off. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

Robots to assist supporters, workers and athletes at the Games

The two products, Toyota’s Human Support Robot (HSR) and the Power Assist Suit from Panasonic, were demonstrated to the public for the first time in Tokyo. 

The HSR, a small white robot with built-in facial features, will assist wheelchair users at the Olympics, which begin in July 2020. 

The robots can carry food and other goods, guide viewers to their seats and provide event information. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

Robots will guide viewers to seats and provide event info

The HSR, a small white robot with built-in facial features, will assist wheelchair users at the Olympics, which begin in July 2020. 

The robots can carry food and other goods, guide viewers to their seats and provide event information.

"We will support people at the Olympics and at the stadium in wheelchair accessible areas," said Minoru Yamauchi, who is in charge of Toyota’s 2020 robots program. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

16 'human support robots' will be used

There will be 16 HSR robots at Tokyo 2020 venues and Toyota hope to have similar products available for general sale by the early 2030s. 

Panasonic also presented their offering, a battery-powered exoskeleton that assists with picking up heavy objects. 

"In terms of service, we will be offering stress-free entry and viewing and the robot can also carry bags and other luggage items for the customers." 

(Photograph:Reuters)

Robots will be used by workers

People are strapped into the Power Assist Suits, which enable users to repetitively lift and carry objects without putting a strain on their back. 

They will be used by workers at Olympic and Paralympic venues, as well as the athletes’ village. 

Tokyo 2020 organisers have long maintained next year’s summer showpiece will be the most innovative ever and more robots are expected to be announced later. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

The Olympics begin on July 24, 2020

"At Pyeongchang, there are examples of robots being used at the Games but I don’t think it was to this sort of practical level," said Tokyo 2020 Vice Director General Maasaki Komiya.

"So, let me reiterate, we want to give the impression that robots are actually usable and they can become part of our daily lives."

"At past Games, I do not believe that we really saw robots as part of the Games."

Battery life if about four hours, and the suit gives the wearer the ability to lift about 10 kilograms (22 pounds) more with the same energy expended. 

The Olympics begin on July 24, 2020, with the Paralympics commencing a month later.

(Photograph:Reuters)