The science fiction of yesteryear would have had us believe that robots would be more commonplace in the future.
One place we’re set to see more robots is next year’s Olympic games slated to happen in Tokyo and we have Toyota to thank for the robotic attendees.
While we initially hoped we’d be seeing automatons sprinting against each other, Toyota is actually bringing its robots focused on mobility.
“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,” chief officer of Toyota’s Frontier Research Center, Nobuhiko Koga said in a statement.
The first robot that caught our eye is the T-TR1 (remote location communication robot.
This bot will project an image of a person in a remote location on to a tall display. Speakers and a camera are said to allow the person being broadcasted to communicate with other people at the Olympic games.
Also helping folks who can’t attend the event be there is the T-HR3. This humanoid robot features a display on its head and will “provide a unique way for other guests in remote/distant locations that are unable to be physically present to interact with athletes via the T-HR3 and Mascot robots.”
Toyota says that the robot can allow users to experience the power of movement and force feedback as they converse with and high-five athletes.
Then there is the Human Support Robot(HSR) / Delivery Support Robot (DSR).
Toyota says that the HSR will be deployed to a portion of accessible seating locations at the Olympics (500 to be exact) to assist attendees in finding their seat. The HSR will also reportedly fetch meals and goods for the attendee as well.
The DSR meanwhile will deliver drinks, meals and other goods to attendees who have ordered them via a tablet at the venue.
The automaker also showed off its new Field Support Robot (FSR). These bots have autonomous functions. The FSR is able top plot the best route to field throwing equipment (javelins and the like) while following an official and avoiding obstacles.
The bot will lower the time needed to retrieve equipment and reduce the amount of physical labour done by humans.
Finally, there are also mascot bots. The Tokyo 2020 Mascot Robot Miraitowa / Someity robots will greet guests and athletes at official venues. A camera in the bots head gives it facial recognition capabilities and its arms and face can be moved to showcase a variety of expressions.