When the Olympics come to Tokyo, Japan in 2020, it’ll be robots who will herd the crowds and help them find their way. The organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics had just unveiled two robots and a powered exoskeleton, which will majorly “assist spectators in wheelchairs to ensure they have an experience they are unlikely to forget.”
"The Tokyo 2020 Games are a unique opportunity for us to display Japanese robot technology," said Tokyo 2020 Robotics Project's Hirohisa Hirukawa. "This project will not simply be about exhibiting robots, but showcasing their practical real-life deployment helping people. So there will be not only sports at the Tokyo 2020 Games, but some cool robots at work to look forward to as well."
The Organizing Committee – who also said that the Game winners would receive medals made using recycled electronic waste – has revealed that the fans in wheelchairs will receive help and assistance from Toyota’s Human Support Robot (HSR) and Delivery Support Robot (DSR). The bots will guide people to their seats, carry foods and other goods to spectators at the Stadium, and also act as event information guides.
It is reported that at least 16 HSRs and 10 DSRs are expected to be in operation during the Games. The DSR is likely to transport items to a drop off zone where the HSR – equipped with an arm/gripper combo for pick and place tasks – can grab them and take them to the spectators.
With that said, the Tokyo Robot Project is also yet to reveal details of a few other robots which will be working at the Olympic Stadium. It is likely that exoskeletons called Power Assist Suits made by Panasonic will also find a place in the Project. The suits – that help workers lift heavy loads with less effort – will be mostly deployed at “related facilities and airports.”