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Japan's prime minister wants to host the first 'robot Olympics' in 2020

Japan's prime minister wants to host the first 'robot Olympics' in 2020


Tokyo is already the host of the 2020 Summer Olympics, so why not add nonhuman machines to the mix?

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For as long as there have been robots, humans have wanted to thrust them into battle. Now Japan's prime minister wants to take that idea to the largest stage possible. Speaking to reporters last weekend at a robot factory north of Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was reported by Jiji Press (via the Telegraph) as saying: "In 2020 I would like to gather all of the world's robots and aim to hold an Olympics where they compete in technical skill."

Tokyo is already hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics, but presumably the robot competition would be a separate event. Will it be like BattleBots or more like DARPA's Robotics Challenge, or something else entirely (this may be the only time a Real Steel reference is appropriate in a news article)? So far, Abe's idea is a mere utterance and remains firmly in the realm of science fiction. But with Switzerland planning to hold the first Olympic games for athletes with robotic prosthetics in 2016 (a so-called "cyborg Olympics"), Abe's idea may not be that difficult to pull off.