[CEATEC 2012] While humans have been lifting heavy objects with the aid of machinery for many years now, it’s usually through someone sitting behind the controls of a machine. And even though they’re usually effective, such machines to can be imprecise or impractical in certain situations (i.e. lifting objects in small, enclosed areas). However, with all the advancements in technology, we’re getting closer to a solution that works in such situations – powered suits which provide extra strength and support for its wearers to lift heavy objects. At CEATEC 2012, we saw one such example of a suit.

Simply called “Muscle Suits”, these suits easily strap on to a wearer’s back and provides them with extra strength through the use of pneumatic artificial muscles. These “muscles” function just like regular human muscles, stretching and relaxing in the same way. While according to a spokesperson, the suits are only meant to assist their wearers – not provide a superhuman boost of strength (there goes your dreams of being Iron Man with this particular product). However, the live demonstration showed that it could help people lift more weights than they normally could. The guy with the suit could lift an additional 2 bags of rice when it was activated.

The suit has been in development by the Tokyo University of Science and Kobayashi Lab. since 2001, and after more than a decade, it looks like it’s almost complete. They will be renting out the suits to certain companies starting next year, but don’t expect to be able to pick one up for yourself just yet. Check out more images in the gallery below:

[More info (Japanese, PDF)]

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