Full-fledged discussions are expected to start this year on deploying robots for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, part of the organizing committee’s vision of hosting the most innovative Games in history.

“We want to make the Games a showcase of robots,” a source related to 2020 Olympics and Paralympics said.

In December, the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games held the first working-level meeting with officials from the central government, the Tokyo metropolitan government and private companies on possible plans for using robots.

The previous month, the Tokyo metropolitan government started placing artificial intelligence-equipped robots in its building and an observatory to provide tourism information in several languages, including English and Chinese.

In the demonstration test scheduled to continue until late February, the metropolitan government will look into the practicality and challenges of using the robots.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Technology Research Center, an affiliate of the metropolitan government, also started a support system for medium- and small-sized companies that plan to deploy robots in such fields as tourism and nursing care.

At Haneda Airport in central Tokyo, robots are being tested to guide foreign tourists or locate suspicious people. Demonstration tests of self-driving cars are also under way in various parts of Japan.

The International Federation of Gymnastics is developing “AI judges” with Japanese computer maker Fujitsu Ltd., one of the sponsors of the 2020 Games.

The judges are expected to analyze the moves of gymnasts in three dimensions with the use of lasers, while using AI to judge the degrees of the athletes’ twists and other skills.

(This article was written by Daisuke Maeda and Shuhei Nomura.)