The next Summer Olympics will feel like a trip into the future, as Japan beefs up its technological projects before the next games.

At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, expect to see robots, driverless vehicles, and a man-made meteorite show instead of standard fireworks.

Shinzo Abe, the prime minister of Japan, showed up to the closing ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games dressed as Super Mario, a famous video game character, to lay the foundation for the theme of the next summer Olympics. This appearance follows controversies during the Rio Olympics such as the struggle to ready the Olympic Village and Olympic pools turning green.

Japan, which is known for its technological prowess, is launching projects that will help the economy and impress visitors.

The Japanese government is planning to triple its spending on robotics. One reason for this is so that teams of robots can operate as concierges at hotels and airports to assist Olympic spectators and greet them as they arrive at their destinations. Tourists staying near the Olympic Village will have access to robots of all sizes to help them find the best transportation, restaurants, and entertainment in Tokyo.

Robot Taxi, a Japanese company, is working on driverless vehicles that will take visitors from hotels to the Olympic events. Panasonic is creating tools to be worn around spectators’ necks that will translate the commentary into multiple languages so that they can be read on smartphones.

Also, gymnastics judges could use 3-D laser technology to analyze each gymnast’s complex moves, allowing for a more accurate scoring system.

ALE, a Japanese startup, is working to showcase its idea for a man-made meteorite shower by 2018. The Tokyo Olympics hope to use this capability instead of fireworks during the opening ceremony.

Tokyo will also face problems that any city is forced to tackle before hosting an Olympic games, such as congestion problems and lodging space for a massive influx of athletes and visitors. Tokyo will ensure there are enough hotels and find ways to minimize traffic.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics Committee hopes that guests will experience Tokyo’s “hypermodern living” while appreciating Japan’s history.

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Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Federal IT and K-12 Education.