This time next year sports fans around the world will be glued to their television sets for the 2020 Olympic Games. In addition to the top sporting action, they may see an army of robot helpers assisting the event's organizers.
The Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor Corporation recently showed off a number of machines that may well be helping spectators and participants with a variety of tasks.
Among the bots are:
A small bus-shaped machine based on a Toyota ride-sharing vehicle that could be deployed to retrieve javelins, discuses and other objects. It can travel at speeds of up to 20 kilometers per hour and uses AI to help it avoid barriers. At the moment it is still a work in progress and cannot pick objects up on its own.
A remote location communication robot with a tall vertical display screen. The idea is to beam a life-size real-time video of an individual who's unable to attend events in person but can do so virtually. The current prototype is moved by remote control, and Toyota doesn’t yet know how the robot will be deployed during the games.
Robots that look like mascots which are designed to act as Olympic Games representatives. According to reports these bots do not speak at the moment nor can they walk very well.
Human support robots to show guests to their seats and bring them refreshments.
The 2020 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXII Olympiad is due to take place from July 24 to August 9.