Assistive robots boost wearer’s carrying capacity

17 March 2016
By Jack Loughran
Mobile version
Share |
AWN-03 provides back support for wearers doing lots of heavy lifting activities

AWN-03 provides back support for wearers doing lots of heavy lifting activities

Resyone is a robotic wheelchair for the elderly that splits in half

Resyone is a robotic wheelchair for the elderly that splits in half

Assistive robots that attach to the wearers back to increase their carrying capacity have been developed by Panasonic.

The device, which is awkwardly named AWN-03, has been developed to provide lower back support. It automatically senses the user's motion when lifting and holding heavy objects, and sends a signal to the motors to rotate the gears.

It also raises the user's upper body while pushing on their thighs, and as a result reduces stress on the user's lower back by 15kg.

“Our mission is to help realize a power barrier-less society by offering a helping hand during manual labour and at other worksites" said Hiromichi Fujimoto, president of Activelink, the subsidiary of Panasonic that developed the suits.

“We are proposing robotics to help at these worksites, because there will always be a certain level of work that must be done by people, and these power assist suits can help reduce the physical strain during such work”.

Panasonic has also developed a ‘Power Loader’ robot called Ninja that mimics and aids human motion.

Ninja assists the user's motion while walking and running, for instance hiking up steep mountain paths during afforestation. While the current model only gives extra support to the users legs, an upper body unit of the Ninja is currently being developed, which will help lift and carry heavy items.

The Power Loader suit can be used during disaster relief, construction, and public works. It has four sensors in the hands and feet that control 20 motors.

The company has also been developing Resyone, a wheelchair-like device for the elderly that is combination of electric nursing care bed and an electric full-reclining wheelchair.

Resyone's bed splits in half and one half transforms into a reclining wheelchair in order to help caregivers lift residents from the bed to the wheelchair, reducing the strain on both parties.

“As Japan has becomes an aging-society, Panasonic is aspiring to make its contribution by supporting the elderly and their families lead a comfortable life full of smiling faces and laughter” explained Hitoshi Sasaki, assistant director of Sincere Kourien, an elderly care facility run by Panasonic.

“There are many instances that can be straining to both caregivers and care recipients. Just moving from the bed to a wheelchair can be a very energy consuming both parties (sic)."

Last year, Danish researchers unveiled a portable exoskeleton designed to aid the elderly by providing motorised assistance for their aging joints and bones.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1606

"Where would Frankenstein and his creative mind fit into today's workplace? Should we fear technological developments or embrace them?"

E&T jobs

  • Graduate Electrical Engineers

    AECOM
    • United Kingdom and Ireland
    • Competitive

    Due to the diverse nature of our business there are many different teams each with very different responsibilities.

    • Recruiter: AECOM

    Apply for this job

  • Network Innovation Engineer / Analyst - UK Power Sector

    Premium job

    Nortech Management Ltd
    • Birmingham, West Midlands or Pershore (Worcestershire)
    • £30,000 - £35,000 (depending on experience) + benefits

    Network Innovation Engineer / Analyst to join a team of talented technology enthusiasts who design and support the low carbon networks of the future.

    • Recruiter: Nortech Management Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Engineer with Strong telecoms background

    Premium job

    Sure South Atlantic Ltd
    • Falkland Islands

    Sure South Atlantic Ltd currently has a unique engineering opportunity in their Falkland Islands office. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, teeming ...

    • Recruiter: Sure South Atlantic Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Cyber, Communication, Information and Data Scientist roles

    Premium job

    Dstl
    • Porton Down, Salisbury
    • Competitive salaries

    Information is everything. Use it to serve your country and help keep us safe.

    • Recruiter: Dstl

    Apply for this job

  • Production Engineer

    Premium job

    Compact Engineering
    • Thirsk / Leeds / Banbury / Colchester / Cambridge
    • Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience, knowledge, aptitude and capability

    A Production Engineer with some knowledge and understanding of radiant energy transfer.

    • Recruiter: Compact Engineering

    Apply for this job

  • Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Nikon Metrology Europe
    • Tring, Hertfordshire

    Nikon Metrology is looking for an Electronics Engineer to join our Electronics Team based in Tring (UK).

    • Recruiter: Nikon Metrology Europe

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Development Engineer, Electronics

    Premium job

    Helmet Integrated Systems / Gentex Corporation
    • Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire
    • Competitive

    We are an innovative, robust and fast growing business, whose main focus is to deliver continues improvement to existing products and offer new sol..

    • Recruiter: Helmet Integrated Systems / Gentex Corporation

    Apply for this job

  • Engineering Manager

    BAE Systems
    • Hampshire, England, Portsmouth
    • Competitive package

    Would you like to play a vital role in managing and implementing the correct governance in order to enable BAE Systems to provide assurance and integrity of supply chain data? We currently have a vacancy for an Engineering Manager - Product Integrity

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Engineering Project Manager - Electrical & Automation

    Nestle
    • York, North Yorkshire
    • c£45,000 + Car Allowance + Bonus + Excellent Benefits

    Nestlé Product Technology Centre in York currently has an excellent opportunity for an Engineering Project Manager

    • Recruiter: Nestle

    Apply for this job

  • Consultant Engineer - Test

    BAE Systems
    • Farnborough, Hampshire, England
    • Negotiable

    Consultant Engineer - Test Would you like to be a lead within an exciting team working on one of the UK's largest defence projects? We currently have a vacancy for a Consultant Engineer - Test at our site in Ash Vale. As a Consultant Engineer - Test, you

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T