Friday, September 30, 2011

No. 320: A wearable robot helpful for holding and carrying an object of 30-40 kg (September 30, 2011)

Kawasaki Heavy Industries developed a wearable robot that can help a man hold and carry an object of 30-40 kg. Named Power-Assist Suit, it has a total of four small motors on the hip and knee joints. It automatically detects load and mitigate the heavy labor by dint of the countervailing rotative force. The range of motion remains unchanged where a man wears it or not. A battery and a control device are built in the back side of the hip, and two legs extend from the both side of the hip. The weight of the wearable robot is mostly absorbed by the ground. Although it is necessary to fit the leg to the physical size of the wearer, he can wear it from 30 seconds to 60 seconds. He can hardly feel the weight of the robot when he wears it. Thanks to the reactive force, he can move at a quick pace.

The new robot will be used for the jobs that the existing equipment, such as traditional robots and cranes, cannot perform. The company plans to put it into practical application in two years and use it for jobs inside the company, and it will work on reducing the price to put it on the market in the future.

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