Olympic robots offer ‘virtual’ attendance, help out on field

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Japanese automaker Toyota is readying various robots for next year's Tokyo Olympics, including one that brings back javelins and other objects, a screen-on-wheels designed for “virtual” attendance and those in the likeness of the Olympic and Paralympic mascots.

The robots were shown to reporters for release on Monday. Toyota Motor Corp. is a major Olympic sponsor.

The mascot robots’ eyes change to the images of stars and hearts.

The engineer in charge, Tomohisa Moridaira, suggested various possibilities, such as having the mascot robot hold the Olympic torch using magnets.

Another robot, T-TR1, is a moving human-size display designed to represent people who can't be there.

The “field support robot” has intelligence to avoid obstacles in its path and helps bring back thrown objects like javelins and discuses.

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