The Robotic Super Suit
Posted on June 13, 2005Japan just won't stop with the robot revolution. Now they've invented a robot suit that makes humans stronger.
Note to the Robot Marketing Department: In the demonstration photo, a young, apparently healthy young guy is using the robot super-suit to lift a girl who couldn't possibly weigh more than 100 lbs., soaking wet. Perhaps it would be more impressive if the photo showed a 90 year old man lifting a car, or maybe even a sumo wrestler. Now that would be impressive."Humans may be able to mutate into supermen in the near future," said Yoshiyuki Sankai, professor and engineer at Tsukuba University who led the project.
The 15-kilogram (33-pound) battery-powered suit, code-named HAL-5, detects muscle movements through electrical-signal flows on the skin surface and then amplifies them. It can also move on its own accord, enabling it to help elderly or handicapped people walk, developers said.
The prototype suit will be displayed at the World Exposition that is currently taking place in Aichi prefecture, central Japan. Japan has seen a growing market for technology geared toward the elderly, who are making up an increasing chunk of the population as fewer younger Japanese choose to start families.