Panasonic have announced that their “powered suit” will go into mass production this year. The suit, which will enable the wearer to greatly enhance their strength, will sell at the relatively reasonable price of 500,000 yen.
Netizens are excited by the idea, with some seeing it as a glimpse into the future role of robotics in modern life.
From Yahoo! Japan:
Panasonic’s Powered Suit To Go Into Global Mass Production For First Time, One Suit Expected To Cost 500,000 Yen
On January 2, it was revealed that Panasonic’s “Powered Suit”, which mechanically supports physical strength to lift heavy objects is to go into global mass production for the first time. They will also be on sale in 2015. Over a year 1000 suits will be produced, and the price for one suit is expected to cost 500,000 yen [approx. $4788]. It is expected that the suit will be used in situations where short-term operations are required, such as to help with disasters and within nuclear power stations. In the future, Panasonic will also develop a suit that can be used even in extreme environments, such as in space and deep sea.
Powered suits, which when worn produces strength that exceeds the limits of human strength, have been researched and developed in various organisations, including universities and private enterprises, however they have not yet been mass produced. Pansonic’s suit is equipped with an enlarged version of the lithium ion battery used in computers and smart phones, and moves via a motor. The operation of the suit’s arms, “grip” and “release”, is carried out through grips near the user’s hands.
The development of the suit was done by Activelink, a subsidiary of Panasonic that works on robotics. Activelink successfully made a test product that is capable of lifting objects weighing 100kg, moving at a maximum speed of 8km/h, about the speed of a gentle run for a human, going up a hill of a ten degree gradient.
Panasonic will establish a system of mass-production for the suits in 2014. As well as partnering with major companies to sell the suit, they are also reviewing rental operations through a leasing company.
The mass-produced suit has a narrowed range of functions, adapted to transport heavy objects of around 30kgs. The plan is for it to go on sale with the name “power-loader suit”. The suit can move for around 2 to 3 hours on one battery charge. The arms can be switched so that they don’t only grip, but can also do operations involving hammering with a hammer, and digging using a scoop.
The development of a suit that can be worn under a spacesuit or diving gear is also on the horizon. Each suit requires substantial strength to operate it freely, and in fact, at NASA, whether a power suit can be worn underneath a spacesuit is being investigated. The completed product will be supplied to public organisations and research facilities.
Comments from Twitter:
Want it want it want it want it want it want it want it want it want it want it want it want it (*^_^*)
If they made a slightly more lightweight suit and the price was lowered, then I suppose they could be specialised for use in medicine and nursing. It would be great if they’d reduce the burden for various specialised jobs.
If someone had told me about this headline 25 years ago, I’d have gone crazy, like “Wow the future is here!!”, but seeing it now, it just seems pretty realistic…
This is great.
I want them to make Gundam.
Amazing, this is the kind of thing you’d see in an anime!
If that’s going to be the price I guess I could buy one、、、
Amazing! And they’ve already been implemented? But I wonder if a large lithium ion battery is alright?
Comments from 2ch.net:
Saw this in Alien 2.
500,000 yen is cheap.
This is good news for all those elderly rice farmers.
If this progresses well it’s going to be pretty cool, huh?
If it’s just 30kgs, hell, I could carry it.
Unless they bring out the 100kg version it’s pretty pointless.
So they’re going to put out industrial waste huh? w
This is an idiotic enterprise.
Poor kids who are bullied, women who suffer domestic violence, the elderly — wonder when they’re going to use one of these to kill someone as revenge?
They should make a smaller one for use in nursing.