The World Artistic Gymnastics Championships took place in Stuttgart, Germany last week, and for the first time, robots developed in collaboration with Japanese company Fujitsu were involved in the judging system.

By robots, I don’t mean humanoids. These robots are just rectangular grey boxes placed strategically around the floor to cover the action from all possible angles for providing a fair judgement.

The President of the International Gymnastics Federation Morinari Watanabe remarks these robots as “a big step towards the future”. “We cannot accept that all those years of hard effort and all those dreams can be destroyed by a single judging error. Scoring controversies must become a thing of the past, and the technology that Fujitsu has been developing will reinforce trust in judgement.”, says Mr. Watanabe.

Fujitsu robots make use of AI and 3D sensors to capture the movements of gymnasts. It then analyzes these movements in the form of numerical data and offers a 3D digital view of the elements.

It is worth noting that these robots will be a support system for human judges and has not taken over the complete judgement system, at least not yet. However, that might happen when the technology matures enough to provide unbiased and accurate results in the future.

The FIG wants to expand this technology for coaching and training gymnasts. They believe the data collected by the robots will help gymnasts enhance their movements and correct their body posture.

Now that these judge robots have been implemented in the World Artistic Gymnastics Championship, we could expect a similar implementation in the 2020 Olympic Games. However, we will have to wait to see how that turns out.

So, what are your thoughts on involving robots in the judgement system? Tell us in the comments.