According to The Asahi Shimbun, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games offers a chance for Japan to show off its sophisticated technology, and plans are afoot to make extensive use of robotics at key venues for the first time.
Two types of robots demonstrated to media representatives on March 15 have been selected by the organizing committee for the Summer Olympics for use during the Games, and more could be in the works.
One is a human support robot developed by Toyota Motor Corp. Two models work as a tag team to provide assistance to spectators in wheelchairs.
One model escorts the spectator to the section in the venue set aside for those in wheelchairs, while the other delivers drinks ordered through a touch panel device.
Sixteen pairs of the robots will be installed for the wheelchair seating area to be set aside at the new National Stadium, the main venue for the Tokyo Olympics.
A "power assist suit" developed by Panasonic Corp. will also be deployed.
The device worn on an individual's back is designed to make lifting of heavy objects easier. The device weighs 4.5 kilograms and will be used to unload gear and other equipment used by athletes and teams.
The motor in the device reduces the burden on the wearer's hips by between 10 and 40 percent. About 20 of the devices will be used at the Tokyo Olympics.
One unit now sells for about 700,000 yen (US$ 6,300) and some are already in use at domestic airports.
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