Robotic suit to help elderly stand up and sit down

Robotic suit to help elderly stand up and sit down

Engineers at a Japanese venture firm say they have developed a robotic suit that makes it easier for the wearer to stand up and sit down.

The product, which is designed to be worn around the hips, detects electrical signals from the brain and activates a motor to support the wearer's movements. It was created by Cyberdyne, a company based in Tsukuba City, near Tokyo.

The government approved the firm's previous robotic suit model as medical equipment because it might help improve the walking capabilities of people afflicted with illness.

Engineers at the firm say their latest model weighs 3 kilograms, less than one-fourth of the previous robotic suit.

They also decreased the number of electrodes used to detect electrical signals from eight to one, which makes it easier to wear.

The firm plans to start selling the product to daycare facilities next month to assist the elderly and others with weakened muscles.

Ikuo Kudo of the firm said he hopes the device will come into wide use as it can ease the burden on caregivers.