Toyota reveals full line-up of support robots for 2020 Olympics
Back in March, the first Tokyo 2020 Robot Project helpers were revealed. Now Toyota has pulled back the curtain on its full line-up, with mascot bots, full-sized humanoids and field support bots joining the delivery and human support robots already announced.
Leading the field will be two mascot robots – the blue and white Miraitowa and the pink and white Someity. The job of the mascots will be to welcome athletes and guests to official venues, recognizing people via a camera mounted on their heads and responding with their eyes and perhaps raising an arm for a handshake.
If folks aren't able to witness the activities of the mascots first hand, the T-HR3 humanoid robot will try and fill in as best it can by mimicking the movements of Miraitowa or Someity in real time. The T-HR3 will also be able to interact with people, such as high-fiving athletes, and feed images and sounds of remote scenes to visitors.
The T-TR1 has a camera sitting on the top of its large display, and will serve as a virtual mobility or telepresence robot. The aim is to bring event coverage to people who can't actually attend, and even allow folks to interact with those at the robot's location.
The Field Support Robot will trundle along autonomously and retrieve thrown objects such as javelins and shots, easing the burden on human staff while keeping them out of harm's way.
"At Toyota, we use industrial robot technology for a variety of applications based on our dedication to 'Supporting human life activities and living in harmony with people'," said Nobuhiko Koga of Toyota's Frontier Research Center. "For example, since 2004, we have developed partner robots focused on support for people unable to move on their own, including the aging population.
"Now, as we transform into a mobility company, we are expanding our robotics efforts to provide all people with the freedom to move. 'Mobility for all' is not only the 'physical' movement of a person or thing from one location to another, but also includes 'virtual' mobility of a person. This provides further opportunities to experience new things, meet and interact with others, or to be 'moved' emotionally. At Tokyo 2020, we want to capture the imagination of spectators by providing support robots as we do our part to make the Games a success."