The Tokyo 2020 Robot Project brings together experts in the field of robotics, and is supported by Japan’sCabinet Secretariat, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Panasonic Corporation, Toyota Motor Corporation, and Tokyo 2020.
Power Assist Suits developed by Panasonic Corporation will be utilised in the backstage areas of venues and at the Olympic and Paralympic Villages to unload and transport heavy objects, including food and drinks, and for waste disposal, thus easing human workloads and providing a healthier and safer working environment. The suits will also be deployed at airports loading incoming athletes’ luggage onto buses.
Other robots will perform a number of additional duties during the Games, details of which will be announced later. Overall, robot technology will help deliver a safer and smoother Games, and while the 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.
Hirohisa Hirukawa, leader of the Tokyo 2020 Robot Project, commented, “The Tokyo 2020 Games are a unique opportunity for us to display Japanese robot technology. This project will not simply be about exhibiting robots, but showcasing their practical real-life deployment helping people. So there will be not only sports at the Tokyo 2020 Games, but some cool robots at work to look forward to as well.”
Masahiro Ido, Executive Officer of Panasonic, commented, “As the first Paralympic Worldwide Partner in Japan, Panasonic aims to contribute to the success of the Tokyo 2020 Games through our solutions. We strongly believe that our robot technology--including Power Assist Suits, which constitute one of our sponsorship contributions--will be of use to all people regardless of impairments, and to society in general, becoming a legacy for future generations.”
Nobuhiko Koga, Chief Officer of Frontier Research Center, Toyota commented, “TOYOTA hopes toprovide ‘the freedom to move for everyone’ throughout the Games and has developed various mobility solutions, including robots. 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.”
Tokyo 2020 Vice Director General Masaaki Komiya commented, “We are kicking off this robot project with the help of many people in order to help realise a truly innovative Games, as stated in Tokyo 2020’s vision. I would like as many people as possible to experience these technologies, which are one of Japan’sstrengths, and I believe that through these we will be able to showcase a new style of the Games.”