Robots promise to star at Olympics

Central Station | 19 Nov 2019

Robotic versions of Japan's Olympic and Paralympic mascots thrilled children in Tokyo yesterday with sporting poses and flashing amazing eyes.

The event at an elementary school was as a chance to showcase technology Japan hopes will wow visitors at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Some 600 pupils shouted "kawaii!" (cute!) as the toddler-sized versions of the mascots were unveiled.

The pair, Miraitowa and Someity, show "feelings" in their eyes by displaying hearts or stars.

Principal Jun Ninomiya told the children at Hoyonomori Elementary School that the robots will play active roles next summer.

Blue-and-white Miraitowa is the mascot for the Olympics and pink-and-white Someity is for the Paralympics.

With multiple joints and arms that can be remotely controlled, the robots, paired with full-sized mascots, demonstrated different poses representing various sports for the kids to guess.

The pint-sized pair, developed in collaboration with Toyota, can't talk, but cameras in their heads enable them to recognize expressions on people standing in front of them and to respond.

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