Tokyo’s 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games are fast approaching, and Toyota is playing a key role in on-site mobility and transportation. The Japanese automaker has unveiled five robots it’s going to be bringing to the games, which will each help in some way to support athletes and attendees at venues get around, get information, experience the games remotely and ferry food, drinks and equipment and much more. The robots range from humanoid to strictly purpose-built and functional in design.
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First up are two robot designs based on Tokyo’s official Olympic mascots, Miraitowa and Someity. These blue and pink big-eyed bots will be on-site at official venues acting as greeters and for photo-ops, but they’re equipped with cameras and digital eyes that can offer expressions in response to human interaction. They’ll also be able to move their arms and legs, and part of the plan for deploying them is to potentially distribute them across Japan to offer kids in other cities a chance to get a taste of the games from afar.
T-HR3 offers a similar set of features, albeit in a very different design. This humanoid robot is a lot less “cute” than the mascot bots, but has a lot more potential in terms of articulation. It’s also intended to provide a remote experience of what it’s like to be at the games, and can reproduce the movements of its mascot robot counterparts in real time. T-HR3 also can stream images and sounds from the remote locations back to the Olympic site, acting as telepresence bots for Olympic fans off-site and mirroring their movements — they can “converse with and high-five athletes and others,” Toyota says specifically.