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Panasonic Assist Robots : It Will TakeCare Of Your Heavy Lifting

Posted in Robots, and Technology

Panasonic released a video featuring its assist robots, which support the everyday lives of workers and the elderly. The company has applied the advanced control and sensor technologies that it has developed to create a robot equipped with motors that assist human body mechanics. These robots are safe to use and offer peace of mind. This video highlights the latest developments in Panasonic’s assist robots.

Panasonic Assist Robots for Industrial Use

Power assist suits for industrial use have been developed by Activelink Co., Ltd., one of Panasonic’s in-house venture companies.
“Our mission is to help realize a Power Barrier-less Society by offering a helping hand during manual labor and at other worksites” said Hiromichi Fujimoto, President of Activelink Co., Ltd. “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.”

The AWN-03 was especially 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.

By mimicking human motion, the PLN-01 named “Ninja” assists the user’s motion while walking and running, for instance hiking up steep mountain paths during afforestation. An upper body unit of the “Ninja” is currently being developed, which will help lift and carry heavy items.

Power Loader
The Power Loader is a powerful suit that can be used during disaster relief, construction, and public works. It has 4 sensors in the hands and feet that control 20 motors.

Panasonic Assist Robots

For example, the Assist Suit (displayed in the picture) strengthens your lower back and legs, assisting you when lifting heavy boxes. The Ninja is a similar device that makes climbing steep slopes much easier. The aptly named Power Loader is prone to help in case of disasters or construction work, where really heavy objects should be swiftly moved around. Sci-Fi fans might recognize the Power Loader’s design from the Aliens movie.

Panasonic, which has over 18 years of experience in the nursing business, also focused its attention on medical procedures and restoring lost mobility.

For example, the simple act of moving a patient from his bed onto a wheelchair can be literally backbreaking. That is why Panasonic came up with Resyone, a novel approach to hospital furniture. Resyone shifts from bed-form into a reclining wheelchair with the press of a button.

Panasonic underlines that the resident’s dignity is maintained by not moving him from the bed/wheelchair. The company points out that Resyone is the first device that is ISO13482 certified. This means that the device meets the safety standards for service robots.

Panasonic ends the video presentation with a description of the Self-Reliance Support Robot. The device assists the elderly when leaving their beds and heading to the restroom or to the cafeteria. One neat trick that it uses is that it measures the resident’s muscle strength, so that it supports the weakened patient, but it still forces them to initiate the motion. This makes sure that patients avoid developing muscle atrophy.

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