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Robots May Replace Guards at Japanese Railway Stations by 2020 Olympics

© AP Photo / Eugene HoshikoA Japanese-built human-controlled robot. Japan leads the world in robotics development.
A Japanese-built human-controlled robot. Japan leads the world in robotics development. - Sputnik International
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TOKYO (Sputnik) - A robot has worked as a security officer at a station of Seibu Railway in Japan, and this test has been held within the country's preparations to host the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, Maki Sone, a Seibu Railway representative, told Sputnik on Tuesday.

Seibu Railway is a private railway operator in Tokyo and Saitama Prefectures.

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"The decision to test the artificially intelligent robot has been taken in light of preparations for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. In that period, the number of foreign tourists will grow, as well as the number of Seibu Railway passengers. The issue of boosting security at the station as well as the issue of employees' workload reduction arose. We have launched the test to solve these problems," Sone said.

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The robot is cruising around the station. If it sees that a passenger has sit down on the floor or is falling, it makes the conclusion that the passenger feels bad and notifies the employees.

"There are many columns at the station, and this is why the employees may fail to notice something. The robot has to see what is happening as quickly as possible and notify the staff. Moreover, it notifies the staff if it notices some lost belongings at the station," Sone added.

Thanks to the robot, Seibu Railway employees will no longer have to repeatedly cruise around the station and check if there are any lost belongings or suspicious objects.

The results of the test are currently being studied. Following the research, decision will be made if it is reasonable to "employ" the robot or not.

The 2020 Summer Olympics is scheduled to take place on July 24-August 9, while the Paralympics will be held on August 25-September 6, 2020.

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