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Fujitsu is developing a robot that can judge gymnastics for Tokyo's 2020 Olympics

The system uses powerful lasers to create a 3D model of the athlete in real time, quite literally analysing their every move.


In 2020, the Olympics will head to Tokyo. Appropriately for Japan, it looks as though it'll be the most high-tech Games yet.

And as part of the country's push for new technology for the Olympics, Fujitsu is creating a laser-guided system to score gymnasts. The company claims that the scoring for gymnastics, a particularly dynamic sport, can be too subjective. This new tech aims to solve that problem.

The Japan Gymnastics Association and Fujitsu have partnered in developing the system by incorporating 3D laser sensors that create a real-time 3D model of the gymnast. These sensors are capable of measuring 76,800 points of motion per frame up to 30 times per second, providing pin-point readings of gymnastic movement.

Conventional 3D motion-capture technology typically uses a combination of multiple cameras and a suit fitted with special markers. With the laser sensors, the 3D model can be created without the need for burdening the athlete with additional performance-hampering gear.

The system will also include a "telescope" function, to make up for the fact that laser sensor accuracy drops as distance between the sensor and object increases.

The technology is expected to be completed before the 2020 Olympics. Other projects in the works for the games include holographic billboards and signs, and 8K television broadcasts, which are being trialled during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this August.