Robo Olympians? Olympics schedule packed with bots, AI, VR and more

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Aside from premier diversion competition, the quadrennial lawsuit is besides showcasing a fig of cutting-edge technologies, carrying connected a contented of Olympic innovation.


Image: Toyota

After being delayed owed to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Olympics docket is successful afloat swing, albeit without spectators successful the stands. Aside from featuring apical diversion contention from nations astir the globe, the quadrennial lawsuit is besides showcasing respective cutting-edge innovations ranging from robotics and artificial quality to virtual world grooming solutions, carrying connected a contented of Olympic tech innovation history.

"The Olympic Games person ever been a catalyst and showcase for innovation, and erstwhile Tokyo past hosted the event, successful 1964, it saw satellites utilized to relay unrecorded pictures to a planetary assemblage for the archetypal time, arsenic good arsenic the debuts of close-pickup microphones and slow-motion replays," reads a information of an Olympic blog post.

SEE: COVID vaccination policy (TechRepublic Premium)

2020 Olympics: Bots enactment officials connected the crushed

Historically, quality beings person traditionally located, chased down and seized crippled balls during Olympic competitions. But astatine the 2020 games, spectators whitethorn drawback a glimpse of a fewer bots retrieving these spheres and different instrumentality during gameplay. This year, Toyota has developed a bid of "Field Support Robots" (FSR) designed to "retrieve sports instrumentality rapidly and safely connected the tract of play, alleviating the load connected operational staff," according to the Olympics post.

But these devices tin fetch and retrieve much than the modular spherical sports balls. According to an Olympics post published successful March, these autonomous trade tin assistance "retrieve the discus oregon javelin successful throwing events" and "carry the rugby shot to the [center] of the tract earlier kick-off."

The bots boast a apical velocity of 20 kilometers per hr (12.4 mph) and person an AI-enabled camera to observe humans and a abstracted sensor "uses airy reflected from a laser beam to cipher the region and space betwixt an obstacle."


Image: Olympics

Olympic hoops bots

Toyota's AI-powered humanoid hoops player, CUE, whitethorn not beryllium a household name, but the robot is simply a hardwood fable successful its ain right. In 2019, the robot made past erstwhile it netted the Guinness World Record for "most consecutive hoops escaped throws by a humanoid robot (assisted)," according to Toyota.


Image: Toyota

Originally, the squad acceptable their desired consecutive changeable extremity astatine 2,020 shots "in enactment of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games," and the robot reached this milestone people aft hooping for much than six hours and fractional hours. During the 2020 Olympics, the bot was seen showing its skills astatine the free-throw line; a made escaped propulsion conscionable earlier a commercialized interruption adjacent garnered a "boom shakalaka" from 1 of the Olympic commentators.

— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 25, 2021

Autonomous electrical shuttles

The 2020 Olympics person besides featured a fig of autonomous vehicles designed to chauffeur athletes astir the Olympic village. Originally, Toyota planned to deploy astir 200 electrical vehicles known arsenic Accessible People Mover (APM) to "transport athletes, unit and visitors with accessibility needs astir venues." Each of the electrical APMs has a single-charge scope of 100 kilometers and tin ferry up to 5 passengers.


Image: Toyota

SEE: Wellness astatine work: How to enactment your team's intelligence wellness (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

VR Olympic training

In collaboration with the International Olympic Committee, Intel has designed a virtual world Olympic grooming level to "provide an immersive learning acquisition for cardinal managers astatine contention venues" that creates "a realistic acquisition and providing close idiosyncratic feedback" to heighten training, according to an Olympics post. Overall, the strategy features integer twins of Olympic contention areas.

"This aviator initiative, tested for the archetypal clip successful Tokyo, volition assistance marque operational grooming astatine aboriginal Games much businesslike and cost-effective," the station said.

Facial designation boosts information

The 2020 Olympics besides see facial designation capabilities to heighten information astatine contention spaces. An inaugural involving Panasonic, Atos and NEC uses facial designation to "identify accredited athletes, volunteers, media and officials astatine each information checkpoint," according to the Olympics post, adding that this tech volition "play a cardinal relation arsenic portion of Tokyo 2020's COVID-19 countermeasures."

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