Following last week's unveiling of the Accessible People Mover, Toyota has introduced a slew of robots for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Created as part of the Tokyo 2020 Robot Project, the robots are diverse and include everything from mascots to a tiny autonomous vehicle.
Starting with the mascots, they’re named Miraitowa and Someity. Toyota says they have a camera mounted on their head which enables them to recognize people and then use their eyes to respond to them. The mascots have also been equipped with miniature joints which allow them to move their arms, legs and head.
While the mascots are tad creepy, the T-HR3 feels like Toyota’s take on the Terminator. Featuring claw-like hands and two cameras for eyes, the T-HR3 is controlled by manipulating one of the aforementioned mascots. It reproduces movements from the mascots and this allows people to remotely control the T-HR3. Users will be able to see and hear what the T-HR3 does and Toyota says this will enable people to "converse with and high-five athletes and others, feeling as if they were truly physically present."
Speaking of telepresence robots, Toyota also introduced the T-TR1 which is billed as a remote location communication robot. Looking a bit like a robotic vacuum outfitted with a huge screen, the robot allows people to virtually attend the games by projecting their image on a "near-lifesize display." The robot also has cameras mounted on top of the display and this allows users to see what’s around them.
Toyota also unveiled the human support and delivery support robots. The human support robot will guide people to their seats and hand them food or drinks delivered by the delivery support robot. The robots are designed to assist the handicapped and Toyota says they are expected to serve over 1,000 spectators during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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Lastly, Toyota showcased the field support robot. Featuring autonomous driving technology, the robot will travel around the field at events to transport and retrieve throwing items. The company says the robot was created to "reduce the amount of time needed to retrieve items as well as reduce the amount of staff labor for the events."
The field support robot is a bit like a more high-tech version of the MINI MINI which was used at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. That model was remote controlled and used to transport javelins and discuses during events.