New Panasonic Robot Will Help You with Heavy Lifting

posted on by Eric Stimson
Aids weak or elderly laborers

Panasonic's powered suit development venture, ActiveLink, has developed a robotic device, the Assist Suit AWN-03, that is designed to help with heavy lifting. It is strapped onto the torso and detects the body's movements with motion sensors. A small but powerful motor, gears made with carbon fiber and resin almost as strong as aluminum, and an actuator unit together optimize the weight balance and lighten the load. It also has different modes so it can distinguish between lifting, carrying, and setting down objects.

In this ad, Panasonic portrays the Assist Suit as imparting "the joy of work" to the aged whose muscles are wearing down and as stretching the limits of human endeavor.

The Assist Suit has a maximum of 15 kgf (kilogram-force) and operates for up to 8 hours. It weighs about 6 kg (13 lb; not including the battery and harness) and measures 80 x 48 x 27 cm (31 x 19 x 11''). It's meant to be worn by people weighing between 50 and 80 kg (110-176 lb). It goes on sale in September; the price has not yet been determined.

Japan is usually considered the cutting edge of robotics technology; several robots have entered the marketplace, while others are in development. The Brookings Institution published a paper last year speculating on the cultural receptivity in Japan towards robots.

[Via My Navi News]

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