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Robot aids to help wheelchair users at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Panasonic and Toyota have new tech for the summer games.

Human Support Robot
The Human Support Robot will assist spectators, athletes and others at the 2020 Olympics. 

Toyota and Panasonic plan to put their latest creations to the test at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Toyota's Human Support Robot (HSR) and Panasonic's Power Assist Suit will help wheelchair users at the games.

HSR, a small black-and-white robot, has facial features and an extendable gripping arm. It can carry food and other items, help spectators to their seats and provide information about the games.

"This project will not simply be about exhibiting robots, but also about showcasing their practical real-life deployment helping people," Hirohisa Hirukawa, leader of the Tokyo 2020 Robot Project, said in a release Friday.

Sixteen HSR robots will be at the Olympics. Toyota hopes to have similar products for sale by the early 2030s.

Panasonic's Power Assist Suit is a battery-powered exoskeleton -- think animatronics without a covering -- that can help the wearer lift heavy objects or repeatedly lift and carry items without back strain. Workers will wear the suits at Olympic and Paralympic venues, including the athletes' village.

Neither Toyota nor Panasonic immediately responded to a request for comment.

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