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Panasonic Shows Off Updated Array of Exoskeletons

Panasonic, the giant Japanese electronics corporation, has released a new video outlining the details of its updated exoskeletons or “Assist Robots.” They include flavors like “Ninja Upper Body Unit” and “Power Loader,” and are aimed at helping everyone from factory workers to the elderly. Also women fighting off disgusting aliens who are trying to attack defenseless little humans.

The exoskeletons are being developed by ActiveLink, a subsidiary of Panasonic aimed at “[developing] new ways to link people and machines by using Power assist technology,” as well as “[creating] a power barrier-less society…” In other words, say hello to primitive Edge of Tomorrow battle suits. (Excluding anything that’s designed for battle.)

The Assist Robots work “in tandem with a person’s own abilities,” and are mainly aimed at easing the burden of manual labor, as well as helping the elderly and their aids move about more efficiently. The AWN-03 for example, the first Assist Robot featured in the video, helps with manual labor by using motors to raise users’ upper bodies while simultaneously pushing down on their thighs, which helps to reduce the amount of stress—by about 15 kilograms, or 33 pounds—placed on their lower backs.

Other Assist Robots, like the Ninja Upper Body Unit, are aimed at increasing strength, although it’s clear that when it comes to that task, the Power Loader is the ultimate beast to behold. While there aren’t any lifting specs for the Power Loader in the video, considering the fact that it looks like a primitive version of an Armored Personnel Unit from The Matrix, it’s probably no slouch.

APU-suit

No details on pricing or release dates are available yet, but the suits have definitely grown more streamlined and user friendly since their earlier showcase back in April, 2015. Hopefully there will also be some kind of coordination between exoskeleton producers in general and the scientists working on projects like BMI interfaces between monkeys and wheelchairs, as that combination could allow paralyzed people to once again gain control of their bodies.

What do you think about these Panasonic Assist Robots? Do you have a task that you’re dying to execute in conjunction with the help of some motorized muscles? Let us know in the comments section below!

HT: WIRED

Images: Panasonic

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