Panasonic, a Japanese company, announced that its Power Assist Suit is going to be involved in World Para Powerlifting (WPPO) events as well as in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
During sports events, not only athletes will sweat, but also backstage people who often do strenuous activities and lift heavy things. This is especially true in the case of powerlifting, where someone has to load weights on a dumbbell and then make sure they are safe.
In this context, WPPO said it has chosen Atoun Model Y, the Power Assist Suit model to facilitate the work of the staff working on the events and moving with heavyweights.
Para powerlifting is a bench press competition designed for athletes with disabilities of the lower extremities. They compete in 10 weight categories for men and women. Loaders must handle weights weighing between 10 and 50 kilograms during the competition.
Panasonic claims that its Atoun Model Y exoskeleton improves safety and accuracy when loading and unloading weights from bars, accelerates weight change, reduces the load on the loader body, and gives contestants a better sense of security. The exoskeleton has the shape of an inverted Y and is made of carbon composites. It is worn on the back and attached to the body of the wearer using chest and thigh straps.
Its independently operated electric motors generate 10 kg of power, while the sensors monitor the user’s movement to synchronize with the motors and provide the exoskeleton with the necessary support.
During operation, the Model Y has three automatic modes. The assist mode assists the wearer to straighten from the bent position. The second one is walk mode that uses two motors to stabilize movement while moving from one location to another, and the third braking mode supports the wearer’s belt while lowering the load downwards.
In addition to para powerlifting, the Auton Model Y exoskeleton can also help at airports, factories, logistics warehouses, construction sites, and farms.