Asia Business Channel

Tokyo 2020 Olympics will Use Robot Technologies

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics plans to create a plan by March that will focus on the use of robot technologies during the Summer Olympics and Paralympics. The Tokyo Olympic organizers plan to formulate a detailed plan to utilize cutting-edge technology to manage the games and accommodate spectators. The committee has started discussions with the Tokyo metropolitan government, Japanese national government ministries and private businesses that are involved in AI, information technology and robotics.

Robots will be used in a wide range of applications during the Tokyo Games, which has the vision of becoming "the most innovative in history." Robots who are specially programmed for “customer service” will direct guests to the various Olympic venues and will provide multi-language support to Olympic guests. Other types of “service robots” will help elderly and disabled visitors and carry their belongings.

An Olympic spokesman said, "Co-existence with humans and offering hospitality is the most important factor in the concept (for utilizing robots)." Visitors arriving at Tokyo’s Haneda airport can expect to arrive at an airport with robots “scattered” about to help them with language assistance and luggage problems while other robots will provide security functions as they patrol the airport terminals.

Yutaka Kuratomi, a representative from Japan Airport Terminal Co., which manages Haneda airport, hopes that by 2020, Haneda airport will be “scattered with robots” and it will be “normal” to see visitors communicating with machines. We want foreign tourists to think that the Japanese people are cool when they come here.”

In addition to robots that will help visitors at the airport or at Olympic venues, Toyota will bring a fleet of autonomous cars to the Olympic games to showcase its technologies and Japanese robotics maker ZMP has partnered with a taxi operator in Tokyo to launch a self-driving taxi in the city in time for the 2020 Olympics.

Toyota has already delivered two fuel cell buses to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and aims to raise the number to 100 vehicles by the time of the Olympics. The automaker also wants to promote the Toyota Mirai — the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to Olympic visitors and is planning a number of promotional activities in conjunction with the Olympics.


robot 1
Panasonic’s HOPSI robot serves bottled beverages and provides information


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Security robot Reborg-X produced Alsok is tested at Tokyo's Haneda airport


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The communication robot “Cinnamon”, produced by Japan's Donut Robotics,
is demonstrated at Tokyo's Haneda airport


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Haneda airport employees pose with robots that are being tested for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

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