Japan now holds more patents in artificial intelligence than any other country in the world. Robots are perceived as something that can protect and support humans. That’s why Tokyo’s Olympics and Paralympics in 2020 may become known as the “Robot Games.”

The organizers launched their ambitious Robot Project, unveiling two of the robots designed to assist supporters, workers and athletes at the Games.

Human Support Robot (HSR) and Delivery Support Robot (DSR), developed by Toyota, will provide assistance to fans in wheelchairs by carrying food and other goods, guiding people to their seats, and providing event information.

The Power Assist Suit (ATOUN) developed by Panasonic will transport heavy objects at the Olympics and will also help with waste disposal. It is a battery-powered exoskeleton that assists with picking up heavy objects, without putting a strain on the back of the worker.

This will ease human workloads by “providing a healthier and safer working environment”, it is claimed.

The suits will also be deployed at airports, for athletes’ luggage. Other robots (such as Robohon) will perform a number of additional duties during Tokyo 2020, details of which are due to be announced at a later date.

Yoshifumi Uchida, general manager of Panasonic’s Paralympic department, said its power assist suit technology was developed partly because of Japan’s aging population. This could help get more women and the elderly into the working population.

More robots are expected to be announced later. They want to leave the impression that robots are actually usable and they can become part of our daily lives.”

Article source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-olympics-2020-robots/olympics-tokyo-2020-unveils-robots-to-help-wheelchair-users-workers-idUSKCN1QW0MV