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Panasonic's consumer-grade exoskeleton can be yours in September

By Shawn Knight
Jul 17, 2015
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  1. Panasonic recently revealed plans to sell a consumer-grade robotic exoskeleton suit later this year. The Assist Suit AWN-03 is designed to help manual labor workers lift heavy objects with less strain, thus potentially reducing the risk of long-term injury.

    The futuristic suit was developed by Panasonic subsidiary Activelink. Weighing just 13 pounds, the Assist Suit attaches to the back, thighs and feet of its wearer and helps them lift an additional 33 pounds. Panasonic says it’s best suited for people weighing between 110 and 176 pounds.

    Recent advancements in the field of technology have enabled us to bring all sorts of sci-fi creations to life. Up until just recently, true virtual reality was little more than a pipe dream and hoverboards only existed in the movies. Heck, we've even sent a space probe to the outer reaches of our solar system.

    Robotic limbs aren’t entirely new as they’ve been used in the medical field as prosthetics for years. Even exoskeletons have been utilized by the military and in the medical field but Panasonic’s creation is one of the first being made available to the average consumer.

    Panasonic spokesperson Mio Yamanaka said his company expects exoskeletons, or power-assist suits, will be widely used in people’s lives within the next 15 years for all sorts of tasks that require physical strength. A few of the examples Yamanaka cited include agriculture, forestry and construction work.

    The Assist Suit AWN-03 is expected to retail for around $8,000 when it goes on sale in September.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. amstech

    amstech TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 1,455   +606

    Very cool! Thanks for posting.
    I still believe that in my lifetime the military will have and use combat mechs.
     
  3. What happens when skynet takes over and your stuck in that thing!
     
  4. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,333   +267

    When can I buy an MS-02 (shown in the video) for $8000 (ie never but I can dream)? Seriously, so cool.
     
  5. What happens when they fail with weight being carried? All of the weight suddenly shifts to the user and breaks their back? I'd like to know the safety locks build into these. Also, its only the Japanese who would promote such a gadget with the chopping down of trees - maybe the next advertisement will show how exo's can help pull whales apart for 'scientific purposes'.
     
  6. Dickie Bird

    Dickie Bird TS Rookie

    Another design similar to the lockheed hulc, looks good
     
  7. It is an extra 33 pounds. If the extra weight is going to snap your spine probably shouldn't be lifting it even with the exo-suit.
     
  8. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Addict Posts: 214   +67

    Awesome! these guys have a really good mindset for turning technology into meaningful products.
    bravo!
     
  9. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,540   +2,337

    Where's the one with weapon mounts? Rocket, gatling gun, etc...
     
    The Chad likes this.
  10. TySan

    TySan TS Rookie

    Try lift 33 lbs when you are 45-55 years old for hours on end and see how that would feel on your back. Heck, even holding a 20lbs side grinder for 5 mins can be killer on the arms. I'm 35 and I am in great shape and even I know how this would feel. This suit would be a God-send for any age group.
     
  11. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,149   +1,424

    This can revolutionize the construction business when it becomes expected from the employers to provide such suits to all its employees, dramatically reducing the risk of injury and making life of construction workers much more fun.
     
  12. If I offered people $8000 to life 33 lbs repeatedly, I get I would get a lot of people to sign up for that job.
     
  13. I have seen something like this...... oh yeah... COD Advance Warfare.....I need one of these at work....
     
  14. Max DeCosta

    Max DeCosta TS Rookie

    Now I can finally get to Elysium!
     
  15. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,169   +577

    You should stop reading the news and actually meet some Japanese people. If you are to know one thing about Japan, it should be that they are very eco-conscious. They don't have anywhere near the natural resources of the USA due to the land size.

    Your comment "Also, its only the Japanese who would promote such a gadget with the chopping down of trees" is the height of ignorance.
     
    DJMIKE25 and The Chad like this.
  16. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

    I'm guessing the ignorance is partly yours. Japan doesn't log its own forests, but it does however drop whole forestry blocks on a daily basis elsewhere. PANPAC's Whirinaki mill is 20 minutes from where I live. Check the mills production at the bottom of this entry. Whirinaki is far from being the only Japanese timber concern commercially logging worldwide and sending their product back to Japan and elsewhere to be processed into such great products as MDF panelling and disposable chopsticks.
     
  17. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,169   +577

    And If you could point out where I did say Japan log's it's own forest, I'll give you a cookie. Otherwise stop trying to put words in my mouth.
     
  18. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

    I didn't say that you did - so the false inference is yours.
    The whole point, which I'm guessing you are just ignoring, is that Japanese companies have quite a chequered history of denuding the world of forests (sometimes it is sustainable, sometimes it is not - native hardwoods and the like), so the linkage between Japanese companies and timber logging is actually quite valid - the linkage you claim is the height of ignorance.
     
  19. Fred L

    Fred L TS Rookie

    Instead of making these things for industry why not look at the lives of young boys who suffer from Muscular Dystrophy and use this technology to keep them walking longer which in turn will keep them alive longer.
     
  20. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,169   +577

    See, why would you go and try to back an argument that had no place in the discussion to being with and take yet another leap of faith?

    The original comment

    "Also, its only the Japanese who would promote such a gadget with the chopping down of trees - maybe the next advertisement will show how exo's can help pull whales apart for 'scientific purposes'."

    Pulls completely irrelevant points into a conversation. It was just a nasty comment. And here you are backing up a troll comment. Tell me, if you build a house on sand, how long do you think it will stand?
     
  21. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

    Again - since you seem to lack the comprehension skills - in no way was I backing the argument. Simply observing that Japanese corporations aren't as eco-conscious as you portrayed them.
    If you were worried about an OT comment, the appropriate response would be to inform them that the topic is off topic, rather than acting as pseudo-PR on corporate Japan's behalf.
    The original point was off topic, your reply was just as off topic with its PR focus not borne out in fact.
    Now feel free to continue - on your own from this point, since as you've noted, it is off topic.
     
  22. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    Again - since you seem to lack the comprehension skills - in no way was I backing the argument. Simply observing that Japanese corporations aren't as eco-conscious as you portrayed them.
    If you were worried about an OT comment, the appropriate response would be to inform them that the topic is off topic, rather than acting as pseudo-PR on corporate Japan's behalf.
    The original point was off topic, your reply was just as off topic with its PR focus not borne out in fact.
    Now feel free to continue - on your own from this point, since as you've noted, it is off topic.
    Possibly The best response ever!
     
  23. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Maniac Posts: 817   +231

    It all depends on the hours and how the money is given, I would easily repeatedly lift 33 pounds for 2 hours for $8000 anyone would but doing it for 8 hours, HELL NO. I work moving boxes that range from 1 pound to 100 pounds for 5 hours a day (part time job) and it hurts after a while it is not as easy as most think.
     
    The Chad likes this.
  24. Oh come on. Three minutes of video and they missed an opportunity for a dual linked chainsaw armed suit at the end? They really need a marketing guy.
     
    DJMIKE25 likes this.
  25. Dryson

    Dryson TS Rookie

    All that is needed now is an expansion package for the arms and then to wrap the entire kit in a shell of two pieces the front and back created from 3D Printing components, add a helmet and you have a Super Patrol Ranger ready for duty.
     

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