2020 Olympic Organizers Introduce Two Robots That Will Assist Workers, Wheelchair Users at Tokyo Games

By: Marie Donlon

Ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, organizers have debuted two robots that will be assisting attendees, workers and athletes at the games as part of its Robotic Project.

The first, Toyota’s Human Support Robot (HSR), is a small white bot adorned with facial features that assists wheelchair users attending the Olympics by carrying their food and other products. The HSRs can also provide attendees with event information and lead them to their seats. It is expected that 16 HSRs will be on hand at the 2020 Olympics.

The second robot, Panasonic’s Power Assist Suit, is a battery-powered exoskeleton that will be worn by workers at both the Olympic and Paralympic venues as well as by those working in the athlete’s village. The Power Assist Suits enable workers to repeatedly lift and carry heavy objects without straining their backs.

As part of its Robotics Project, organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are hoping to demonstrate that robots can serve practical purposes and that they can become a part of everyday life.

“We will support people at the Olympics and at the stadium in wheelchair accessible areas,” said Minoru Yamauchi, head of Toyota’s 2020 robots program.

“In terms of service, we will be offering stress-free entry and viewing and the robot can also carry bags and other luggage items for the customers.”

More robots will likely be unveiled ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which are set to begin on July 24, 2020.