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article imageToyota aims to automate the 2020 Olympics with robots

By Tim Sandle     Jul 23, 2019 in Technology
Toyota are aiming to bring automation to the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games by showcasing robotic technology. The focus is on mobility, offering solutions for both competitions and ticket holders.
Tokyo is looking to innovate on-site mobility and transportation at the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. Japanese company Toyota is unveiling five different types of robots ahead of the 2020 sporting spectacular. The focus of the robots is on the movement of people and goods; the display of information; and with providing opportunities for remote viewing. Part of the concept is to enable fans to interact with athletes remotely via telepresence technology, without the athletes having to actually meet the fans.
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Two of the robots (deemed to be one of the five designs) are designed to be family-friendly, based on a cartoon-like appearance. The machines are based on Tokyo’s official Olympic mascots named Miraitowa and Someity. The robots are garishly colored, using blue and pink and have exaggerated eyes of a 'bug-eyed' design, resembling something that might appear in the pages of a Magna graphic novel.
The Miraitowa and Someity robots will located at official venue sites, functioning as acting an automated concierge (through a combination of voice and movement), providing information and acting as props for users to taker selfies. The robots will be capable of a level of human interaction, being able to respond to some requests and questions.
The second design is a more 'android-like' robot called the T-HR3, according to TechCrunch. This machine can also engage in a basic level of human interaction and it is described as being capable of greater articulation. The T-HR3 also can stream images and sounds from the remote locations back to the Olympic site. One of the tasks that the machine will perform is providing a telepresence service for fans to interact with athletes, with the robot showing video streams of the athlete, copying their movements and enabling participants to converse and engage with pseudo-physical contact, such as preforming a high-five with the robot as if it was the actual athlete.
A device called T-TR1 carries out a similar telepresence function but with more scale, and this is the third offering. This wheel-based robot comes with a very large vertical display, able to produce life-size scale images of Olympic athletes for fans to interact with. The robot looks a little like an upright vacuum cleaner comes with sophisticated audio-visual equipment..
The five robots:
The fourth design is two robots called the Human Support Robot (HSR) and Delivery Support Robot (DSR). The former is a robotic usher, instructing customers where to sit at venues. the machine is also used for transporting light goods to seated ticket holders, like snacks. The DSR design is slightly more sophisticated and it can deliver drinks without spilling them. The final robot is the Field Support Robot, which is designed to find the optimal route possible to retrieve things on the competition fields. such as like javelins and shot-puts.
While the robots will not be able to hold full conversations with people and they are restricted to a degree in terms of mobility, given the terrain, they represent a step forwards n anything that has been used before to help organize a major public event. By he Olympics 2024 the level of complexity is set to be even greater.
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