Tokyo 2020

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Tokyo Olympic organizers to test artificial snow to combat heat

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Tokyo 2020 organizers reportedly plan to spray artificial snow over spectator seats at an Olympic canoe test event next week in their latest measure to combat 90-plus-degree temperatures and high humidity come the Games in July.

Machines will make a ton of snow in one day, according to NHK.

“We haven’t decided definitively that we will use this system next year for the Olympics, but we want to test it to see how effective it is,” a Tokyo 2020 spokesperson said, according to Agence France-Presse. “We’re open to trying all potentially useful ideas,”

Some of the heat counter-measures that organizers plan to use in July include electric fans, large-scale misting towers and installing special coating over 85 miles of roads in the city’s center — with reflective material that reduces the surface temperature.

The starting times of several events were pushed back in an attempt to avoid the midday heat. The men’s and women’s marathons were pushed back one hour to 6 a.m. to mitigate the heat, while the men’s 50km race walk will start at 5:30 a.m.

Tokyo’s summer heat forced an August women’s triathlon test event to be shortened because of high temperatures.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Toyota introduces Accessible People Movers for Olympics, adding to robots

Tokyo Olympic People Mover
Toyota
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The Tokyo Olympics will feature environment friendly vehicles, including 200 Accessible People Movers (APMs) to help those with mobility needs to travel within venues including the Olympic Stadium.

Toyota announced a set of 2,700 total vehicles Monday, adding to its set of at least five different types of robots used during the Olympics next summer.

The company “aims to achieve the lowest emissions target level of any official fleet used at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and thereby also helping to reduce the environmental burden of the Games.”

The majority of vehicles will be electric, including the APMs, and used to transport between venues.

Earlier, Toyota announced that robots would support event operations. A mascot robot will welcome athletes and guests to official venues. Another robot will project an image of a user from a remote location into a venue to give those physically unable to attend a chance to experience the Games with an on-screen presence capable of conversation between the two locations.

Another robot will guide guests to accessible seating seats at the Olympic Stadium and deliver drinks and other goods ordered from a tablet.

Yet another robot will be used to retrieve and convey items on the field of play, specifically during throwing events like the javelin.

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Tokyo Olympic People Mover
Toyota e-Palette (Tokyo 2020 version)

 

Mascot Robot
Mascot Robot

 

Virtual mobility/tele-presence robot
Virtual mobility/tele-presence robot

 

Field event support robot
Field event support robot

Tokyo Paralympic medals unveiled with historic Braille design, indentations

Tokyo Paralympic Medals
Tokyo 2020
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The Tokyo Paralympic medals, which like the Olympic medals are created in part with metals from recycled cell phones and other small electronics, were unveiled on Sunday, one year out from the Opening Ceremony.

In a first for the Paralympics, each medal has one to three indentation(s) on its side to distinguish its color by touch — one for gold, two silver and three for bronze. Braille letters also spell out “Tokyo 2020” on each medal’s face.

For Rio, different amounts of tiny steel balls were put inside the medals based on their color, so that when shaken they would make distinct sounds. Visually impaired athletes could shake the medals next to their ears to determine the color.

More on the design from Tokyo 2020:

The design is centered around the motif of a traditional Japanese fan, depicting the Paralympic Games as the source of a fresh new wind refreshing the world as well as a shared experience connecting diverse hearts and minds. The kaname, or pivot point, holds all parts of the fan together; here it represents Para athletes bringing people together regardless of nationality or ethnicity. Motifs on the leaves of the fan depict the vitality of people’s hearts and symbolize Japan’s captivating and life-giving natural environment in the form of rocks, flowers, wood, leaves, and water. These are applied with a variety of techniques, producing a textured surface that makes the medals compelling to touch.

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Tokyo Paralympic Medals

Tokyo Paralympic Medals