The Japanese robotics company Activelink (a subsidiary of Panasonic) has revealed its latest exoskeleton suit that could give humans a boost in strength. This is a second generation model of this suit and has taken inspiration from the Aliens 2 exosuits. The Ninja weighs around 132 pounds and is able to lift and carry around three times this amount. The first generation of this exoskeleton can actually handle more of a load than the Ninja, but that was designed for military use and is a lot bulkier and more heavy duty. The Ninja was made for everyday use and it seems to be for everyday people. The idea is to market these to jobs that require heavy lifting on a daily basis (think warehouses, large retail stores and places like UPS and USPS).
“At first we’ll likely create PowerLoaders and PoweredSuits that are very specific in their purpose, such as assisting backs or arms or legs. Those are what we hope to put out first as our first product.”
The Ninja operates on what Activelink calls “direct force feedback.” Sensors measure a variety of different variables including direction, rotation, and force that the user applies which is translated into movement. While the Ninja is much lighter than the first generation, Activelink hopes to reduce the size even further.
“We hope to further reduce the size of the suit and make it so they just exist naturally. So that when looking at them from the outside, it looks like people working.”
Activelink is looking to get this idea to market within three years and is actively pushing the idea to companies who have jobs that require the types of lifting for which the suit would be perfect. Robotics- and exoskeleton-type tech is sure to be something we will see in our future, and it’s great to see progress at any level. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.