Panasonic Wearable Technology

Panasonic “Ninja” Robot: “X-GaN” New Generation Power Device + Power Assist Suit: Expected Availability

This is an update to these previous blogs:

Panasonic’s New Generation Power Device, “X-GaN”

Panasonic developed GaN power devices with high efficiency, low heat generation, and small size suitable for different applications, including “Ninja,” a full body Power Assist Suit that has been designed to help lift and carry heavy objects.

The following video presents [Part 4] X-GaN application and its future:

In the field of power electronics for electronic devices, the importance of saving energy and miniaturization is increasing rapidly. That is why a new power semiconductor, which can replace silicon semiconductors, which have begun to reach their physical limit, is in demand.
Amid this environment, Panasonic announced the commercialization of a new generation power transistor in May 2015. The same material used in blue LEDs, “GaN (gallium nitride)” helped create this new power transistor.
The developers thought with much excitement, “If we could use this material for semiconductors of power devices, this will bring to life revolutionary performance.” Having said that, there were many obstacles they had to overcome, and much trial and error was involved.
So how did the developers overcome these obstacles? Please take a look at the story of how this new power transistor was developed, the potential that was discovered, and how its commercialization came about.

“Ninja” Robot

This Power Assist Suit was developed by Panasonic’s venture arm, Activelink Co., Ltd., established in 2003.

The Power Assist Robots help lighten the load for workers.

  • The lower half helps you stand up and assists lower body movement when carrying heavy objects.
  • And the upper half helps your arms lift objects.

President Hiromichi Fujimoto describes the company’s unwavering vision as follows: “We believe that removing barriers by supplementing power will definitely help society. We named this belief ‘Power Barrier-less.”

The following video presents Products for a Barrier-free Society | Panasonic:

Removing the physical limitations due to age, sex, and physical strength will help to create a barrier-free society.
This exciting vision is being pursued by Activelink, a member of the Panasonic Group.

The following video presents Creating a future together with our customers – The development of Activelink’s Power Assist Suit:

Japan is facing an aging society, and shortage of labor is going to become a real problem.
Panasonic’s venture company, Activelink Co., Ltd. was established in 2003 with the desire to contribute to society by removing barriers between people with and without physical power. Since then, it has developed a wide range of Power Assist Suits in hopes of lightening the load at work sites. In 2016, a camera crew visited the development site of the Power Assist Suit. Please take a look at the challenge Activelink has undertaken to develop products from users’ perspective and to create new value in partnership with one of its customers, a logistics company.
Activelink Co., Ltd.

ActiveLink’s POWERLOADER, which uses X-GaN, boosted the pit works in SUZUKA 8 hours endurance road race…

Expected Availability of the “Ninja” Robot

President Fujimoto believes that it is important to introduce its prototype at an early stage of development to hear suggestions from people about how else it may be used.

Panasonic’s venture company, Activelink, will continue to make improvements to the Power Assist Suit, which it aims to introduce to the market as a product in the spring of 2017.