Airline staff can communicate with customers through the screen on a robot. Photo:

All Nippon Airways (ANA), the largest airline in Japan, recently announced it was deploying 1,000 robots in shopping malls, tourist attractions, museums and hospitals in Tokyo before the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The robot, named “Newme,” was co-designed by ANA and OhmniLabs. They will be launched in April to assist foreign tourists outside the stadiums of the Olympic Games, which are scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9.

At the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Japan presented “Tokyo 8 Minutes,” a promotional video about the Tokyo Olympic Games, which highlighted Japan’s high-technology.

In March 2019, the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games officially announced the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Robot Project and launched three robot types – human support robots (HSR), delivery support robots (DSR) and powered exoskeleton robots that look like a backpack.

Newme with a screen Photo: OhmniLabs

One type of Newme looks like a floor-sweeping robot connecting to a desktop computer with a 10.1-inch screen and it can run at a speed of 2.9 kilometers per hour. A user can check the robot’s surrounding environment with its embedded full HD 2K camera.

It can have a height between 105 and 140cm, move in any direction and talk to people.

Another type of Newme. Photo: OhmniLabs

Another type of Newme has a pair of five-foot-long arms that can pick up or deliver items to people. Its arms can do precise tasks, such as pouring water, fishing, picking up a child who fell down, going shopping and carrying the goods back home.

Robot arms can move precisely. Photo: YouTube, OhmniLabs,

During the Olympic Games, ANA will provide tourists with Pocktalk, a translation device that allows a user to speak up to 74 languages. With a touch screen and a noise reduction microphone, Pocktalk can enhance communication between passengers and flight crew and help tourists get information.

At the same time, more artificial intelligence robots will be seen at the Olympic Games, such as “autopilot” electric wheelchairs and Miraitowa and Someity, two mascot robots that can greet people and take pictures.

Self-Driving Electric Wheelchairs at Narita Airport. Photo: ANA

HSRs can help tourists find their seats at Olympic venues, while field support robots (FSR) can help record scores in games such as the javelin, shot put and discus throws.

In addition, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will also apply 5G, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and three dimensional (3D) holographic projection technologies to enhance the audience experience. It could be the most “futuristic” Olympic Games in history.

The story was written by Yang Ying and first published at It was translated by Xu Yuenai.