Japan Says That What the 2020 Olympics Needs Is Robot Athletes

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
July 22 2014 1:55 PM

Japan Says That What the 2020 Olympics Needs Is Robot Athletes

79298120
Would these robots competing in the 2014 RoboCup German Open tournament even qualify for the robot olympics?

Photo by Jens Schlueter/Getty Images

It’s fun to follow the Olympics, but something is missing. It’s certainly not human narratives or drama. It’s not excitement. It’s robots. Where are the robots? Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has the same question, and since Japan is hosting the 2020 summer games in Tokyo, he’s in a position to do something about it.

Agence France-Presse reports that Abe is laying groundwork. He announced last week that Japan is putting together a task force to expand the country’s robotics industry as well as the market for robots. Japan’s Jiji Press agency reports that Abe said, “We want to make robots a major pillar of our economic growth strategy.”

Advertisement

But most importantly, he said he wants to organize a Robot Olympics. “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,” Abe said, according to the AFP. Between robot-assisted parathletes at Cybathlon and the Robot Olympics, this is going to be the decade of robot sports. Finally.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Culturebox

The Simpsons World App Is Finally Here

I feel like a kid in some kind of store.

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The Difference Between Being a Hero and an Altruist

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
Quora
Oct. 22 2014 9:51 AM What Was It Like to Work at NASA During the Challenger and Columbia Disasters?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 10:00 AM On the Internet, Men Are Called Names. Women Are Stalked and Sexually Harassed.
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 22 2014 6:00 AM Why It’s OK to Ask People What They Do David Plotz talks to two junior staffers about the lessons of Working.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 22 2014 9:54 AM The Simpsons World App Is Finally Here I feel like a kid in some kind of store.
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 22 2014 10:29 AM Apple TV Could Still Work Here’s how Apple can fix its living-room product.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 22 2014 10:30 AM Monster Sunspot Will Make Thursday's Eclipse That Much Cooler
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.