Osaka, Japan - Panasonic Corporation has provided the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Tokyo 2020) with its robots that automate tasks otherwise performed manually or assist people in carrying out their tasks. While aspiring to realize a society where human-friendly robots can help support a safe, comfortable lifestyle, the company strives to bring to life Tokyo 2020's vision of "holding the most innovative Games in history and bringing positive reform to the world."
As announced on March 15, 2019, the Power Assist Suits "ATOUN MODEL Y" have been provided to Tokyo 2020 to help lighten strain posed on the wearers' lower back while loading and unloading athletes' luggage and equipment. In addition, there are three other types of Panasonic's robots in action behind the scene. The robot vacuum cleaner development model automatically cleans the floors in one of the Tokyo 2020 venues, the Power Assist Suits "ATOUN HIMICO" help volunteers and staff walk for long hours during the Games, and the "ATOUN MODEL Y + kote" with an arm assist function added to the “ATOUN MODEL Y" supports transportation of athletic equipment.
Firstly, the robot vacuum cleaners intended for future research and development, have been cleaning the floors of the Main Press Centre's (MPC) common area since July 19 and will carry out the task through September 5, 2021. Equipped with cameras and LiDAR※1, the robots automatically recognize their surroundings such as people, walls, and obstacles with high accuracy, to safely clean the floors from corner to corner without the need to prepare the area beforehand. They help alleviate the burden of the cleaning staff during Tokyo 2020. Further, Panasonic's nanoe™X※2 technology used in the dust box inhibits bacteria※3, creating a clean and comfortable environment for people in the MPC.
Secondly, the Power Assist Suits "ATOUN HIMICO" help lighten the fatigue of the competition staff by detecting walking motion with sensors and helping them lift and lower their legs while walking, with wires connecting the motor at the waist and supporters of both knees. This helps reduce fatigue of the staff who move around on foot for long hours.
Thirdly, the "ATOUN MOEDL Y + kote" is a Power Assist Suit that provides both support of the “ATOUN MODEL Y" for the lower back and the “+ kote," for the arms. The "ATOUN MODEL Y" is already being put to use helping carry heavy things at airports, factories, and onsite at logistic centers, construction sites, and farms. They will also help staff who will support the para powerlifting competition at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. By attaching the "+ kote" to the "ATOUN MODEL Y," the staff will not only get lower back support, but also additional support in the arms. The extension and retraction of the wire connecting the shoulder motor and hands will support the arms when pulling, lifting and carrying objects, thereby improving efficiency and reducing fatigue while working. The Power Assist Suit is a Paralympic limited category, excluding the United States for marketing rights. For the robot vacuum cleaners, Panasonic has marketing rights worldwide except the Americas and Australia.
Panasonic is taking part in the "Tokyo 2020 Robot Project," which is being spearheaded by the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in collaboration with robot experts, the national government (Cabinet Secretariat, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and partners of the Games. Panasonic will help stage an Olympic and Paralympic Games by providing leading-edge, people-friendly robots.
- ※1: LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) A sensor that measures distance by irradiating a pulsed laser beam onto objects and measuring the time it takes for the reflected scattered light to return.
- ※2: nanoe™, and the nanoe™ mark are trademarks of Panasonic Corporation.
- ※3: The sterilization effect may differ depending on the condition of the dust in the dust collection box.
- [Testing organization]TECHNO SCIENCE CO.,LTD.
- [Testing method] Measured the number of bacteria adhered to a cloth placed in the dust collection box in the test room (about 10 square meters)
- [Inhibition method] nanoe™ released
- [Test Substance] Adhered bacteria
- [Test result] 99% or more suppression in 2.5 hours (No. 20070646-001)
Test report publication date: March 5, 2021 (Test was conducted with two types of bacteria). Efficacy depends on the bacteria.