Japanese Prime Minister Announces the Creation of the Robot Olympics in 2020
While touring robotics factories in Saitama and Tokyo earlier this week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his plans for a robotic counterpart to the Tokyo-hosted Olympics of 2020.
But this isn't just ~for kicks~ like the Robocup going on in Brazil right now. Prime Minister Abe means business. Literally. He believes that serious growth in the robotics industry could save the struggling Japanese economy.
'In 2020, I would like to gather all of the world's robots and aim to hold an Olympics where they compete in technical skills,' he said. 'We would like to set up a council on making a robotic revolution a reality in order to aid Japan's growth.'
By creating a task-force to triple the size of the country's robotics industry, Abe hopes to showcase Japan's preeminence on the robotic stage, while allowing the country's economy to blossom around an emerging industry which has a seemingly limitless potential.
(Honda recently unveiled a new model of their robot, Asimo)
Of course, an international robotics already exists in the form of the DARPA challenge, although quite how Abe's vision would differ remains to be seen. But where the DARPA Robotics Challenge tests robots in an emergency response situation, one potential application for Abe's Robot Olympics could be to test robotic applications in everyday life. One thing is for sure though, whether it be the DARPA Challenge, the Robot World Cup or the Robot Olympics, any formalized competition can only be a good thing when it comes to inspiring developers to push the limits of what is possible.