Updated: 06/20/2014 01:31 | By Agence France-Presse

Japan PM Abe wants to stage 2020 Robot Olympics

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to stage a "Robot Olympics" in 2020, the same year Tokyo hosts the Summer Games, local media reported Thursday.


Japan PM Abe wants to stage 2020 Robot Olympics

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe inspects a robot working at an assembly line of cash dispensers at a factory in Kazo, suburban Tokyo on June 19, 2014

Abe also revealed plans for a task force to develop Japan's robot industry and to triple the size of the market for the machines to 2.4 trillion yen ($24 billion).

"In 2020 I would like to gather all of the world's robots and aim to hold an Olympics where they compete in technical skills," Abe told reporters.

"We want to make robots a major pillar of our economic growth strategy," Abe was quoted as saying by Japan's Jiji Press agency.

Abe was speaking during a visit to production lines for industrial and care-giving robots in Saitama, north of Tokyo, and in the Japanese capital.

"We would like to set up a council on making a robotic revolution a reality in order to aid Japan's growth," he said.

Abe gave the thumbs up to a bed that transforms into a wheelchair, calling it "easy to use" after trying it out for himself.

Japan, one of the world leaders in robotics, recently unveiled a chatty humanoid robot that its makers say can understand people's emotions.

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