Thu, Oct 06, 2016 - Page 10 News List

Japan to host robot olympics in 2020


The robot olympics are coming to Japan in 2020, the same year that the eyes of the world will be on the summer games in Tokyo.

As top human athletes battle for medals, their cutting-edge droid counterparts will also be locked in fierce competition at the “World Robot Summit.”

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is hosting the event, which will feature “competitions and exhibits” involving a variety of machines, including humanoid and industrial robots, a government official said yesterday.

The exact date and location of the event has yet to be determined, with the ministry now inviting bids from cities across Japan, which is famed for its robot technology.

In recent years, Japan has sent a talking robot into space as a conversation partner for Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, as part of a project to see how the machine could act as a companion for isolated people.

Japan has also used robots to fill jobs as kitchen workers and farmers in a bid to address labor shortages that are projected to get worse as the nation rapidly ages.

The government said it hopes to draw high-tech robots from around the globe for the 2020 summit.

Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics starting in late July that year, followed by the Paralympics.

Asia’s biggest tech fair — the Cutting-Edge IT & Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition — opened this year near Tokyo this week with a dizzying array of robots on display.

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