New “muscle suits” are designed to reduce musculoskeletal injuries among Japan’s older adults and their care workers, Japanese professor says.
“The idea is to help people live independently and self-sufficiently,” Tokyo University of Science professor Hiroshi Kobayashi told The Guardian. “There is zero risk to the wearer, even if it malfunctions.”
The suit enables “unencumbered” movement by moving the wearer’s joints with artificial muscles, he said.
The suit weighs about 11 pounds (5 kg) and has received good reviews from care workers already, because it makes “lifting so much easier and the people being cared for don’t have to worry about being dropped,” Kobayashi said.
Nearly 5.4 million of Japan’s 31 million population of those older than age 64 need assistance with daily activities, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
The suit will be on sale next month and the creators hope it will eventually become a common tool for the older adult population, The Guardian reports.