Japanese car manufacturer Toyota will provide 16 support robots across the Olympic and Paralympic Games to assist sports fans with tasks such as carrying food and drink, guiding people to their seats and providing event information.
“Robot technology will help deliver a safer and smoother Games and, while robots will be deployed only in specific roles during the Games, the project is expected to showcase their potential for wider application in everyday life,” said the organisers.
Both human support robots and delivery support robots will be part of the Games. Toyota’s human support robot features an in-built arm for picking up trays and baskets and a digital screen for displaying information.
The delivery support robot, which resembles a mobile waste bin, is designed especially to assist wheelchair-users to carry their items.
The decision to deploy robots is part of Tokyo 2020’s mission statement to use the “world’s best technologies” when developing operations for the Games.
“Toyota hopes to provide the freedom to move for everyone throughout the Games and has developed various mobility solutions, including robots,” said chief officer of Toyota’s frontier research centre, Nobuhiko Koga.
“We believe that the robots will help spectators in wheelchairs to enjoy watching the events without any restrictions, to soak up the atmosphere inside stadiums and to feel the excitement of sport,” he explained.