SUPERSUITS FOR HEAVY INDUSTRY
Strap on a Dual Arm Power Amplification Robot, made by a Panasonic subsidiary, and you’ll soon be lifting 100kg loads without breaking a sweat. Other exosuits for industrial tasks are being developed by Hyundai in South Korea, and Cyberdyne in Japan. But none have seen widespread adoption as yet. It might not have the cool factor of an exoskeleton, but we already have human enhancement devices for hoisting heavy loads – the tried and tested forklift. In the end, the uptake of a technology comes down to economics, says Mcdaid. “What value does the exoskeleton add? And does that value exceed the cost of the device?” Not yet, it seems.