Japan wants to bring robot competitions to the Olympics

According to Agence France-Presse, Abe expressed his interest in hosting an Olympic event specifically for robots as part of the international athletic competition in 2020. “I would like to gather all of the world’s robots and aim to hold an Olympics where they compete in technical skills,” Abe said. “We want to make robots a major pillar of our economic growth strategy.” Abe’s focus on robots for the Olympics came as part of a visit last Thursday to robot production facilities in the Japanese city of Saitama, where factories churn out robots that both assist humans and operate autonomously in a diverse array of workplaces, including daycare.

South Korea has robot spectators at their baseball games? Cute. Japan wants to see robot athletes competing against each other at the 2020 Olympics. Tokyo will host the 2020 Olympics, and if Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has any say in the matter, the world will see the world’s robots come together to compete for robotic supremacy. “In 2020, I would like to gather all of the world’s robots and aim to hold an Olympics where they compete in technical skills,” Abe told reporters while visiting a manufacturer of care-giving robots. The prime minister also shared his desire to see Japan’s robot industry triple in size to 2.4 trillion yen, or about $24 billion. Abe said he would like to set up a council that would help make “a robotic revolution a reality in order to aid Japan’s growth.” To be fair, this wouldn’t be the first time a robot competition has taken place on a large stage. Back in 2010, China organized a humanoid battle involving 16 events. There are also a number of other large robot events, including the RoboWorld Cup, the RoboGames and the DARPA Robotics Challenge. Last month, 60 teams of students from around the world assembled for the 13th annual Marine Advance Technology Education Remotely Operated Vehicle International Competition at Michigan’s Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary to hold a competition for underwater robots.

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