Worldwide Olympic Partner Toyota has developed an Accessible People Mover (APM) vehicle to transport visitors with mobility needs around Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 venues, and has designed four futuristic robots to assist and engage with athletes and spectators, while also facilitating remote participation.
The technological innovations are driven by Toyota’s “Mobility for All” concept. The Olympic Movement’s Worldwide Mobility Partner is committed to going beyond the traditional provision of vehicles alone by offering everyone the freedom to move in ways that promote a sustainable environment and safety.
Toyota will deploy approximately 200 short-distance battery electric vehicles to transport athletes, staff and visitors with accessibility needs around venues. The APMs, which can carry five passengers and travel 100 kilometres on a single charge, will also support relief activities. Along with providing solutions for an ageing population and fans who would previously not have been able to attend, the technology will help reduce Tokyo 2020’s environmental burden to historically low levels.
The Tokyo 2020 Robot Project is also a major component of Toyota’s mobility innovations. Four different robot types will assist spectators, athletes and officials at venues, and encourage virtual participation by relaying sound, images and physical feedback to fans watching remotely.
The interactive Mascot Robots – Miraitowa and Someity - will welcome athletes and guests with human-like movements, and can recognise and react to people through cameras mounted on the robots’ foreheads. Toyota’s Human Support Robots will guide wheelchair users to their seats and serve them light meals and snacks.
Fans unable to attend in person will be able to virtually interact with athletes or feel physically present at the Games through Toyota’s T-HR3 Humanoid Robot, which is able to experience the power of movement and force feedback, or the T-TR1 Tele-presence Robot, which projects an image of a user from a remote location and facilitates an on-screen conversation.
Nobuhiko Koga, Chief Officer of Toyota’s Frontier Research Centre, explained: “‘Mobility for All’ is not only the physical movement of a person or thing from one location to another, but also includes the virtual mobility of a person. This further provides opportunities to experience new things, meet and interact with others, or be ‘moved’ emotionally.”
Toyota’s FSR Field Event Support Robots will assist at throwing events, determining the optimal route to retrieve hammers or javelins thrown by athletes, avoiding obstacles on the way. Toyota and Tokyo 2020 will be working with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to develop these robots for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
In line with Olympic Agenda 2020, Toyota has partnered with Olympic Games organising committees, including Tokyo 2020, to provide sustainable mobility solutions. In addition, Toyota last month delivered eight zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to Olympic House, the IOC’s new sustainability-driven headquarters.