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Panasonic Wearable Technology

Panasonic Powered Wear: Dust- and Water-Proof ATOUN MODEL Y with Powerful Motors & Waist-Movement Sensors to Support the Worker’s Waist is Available; Lightweight ATOUN MODEL H with Wire-Type Walking Assistance Technology for the Elderly is Under Development

Panasonic Powered Wear: ATOUN MODEL Y
Panasonic Powered Wear: ATOUN MODEL Y

The following video presents ATOUN: HIMICO

ATOUN Inc. (“ATOUN”), a subsidiary of Panasonic, is developing the Powered Wear ATOUN MODEL H – HIMICO (*1) – to assist everyday lives of the elderly with the wearable robot which is a powered wear (*2) that can offer natural assistance while walking, by incorporating the wire-type walking assist technology (*3) developed by the Business Innovation Division of Panasonic Corporation.

Via this wire-type walking assistance technology, the new assist suit can really be “worn.”

  • It is easier to put on and take off in comparison to conventional assist devices,
Panasonic Powered Wear: ATOUN MODEL H

Panasonic Powered Wear: ATOUN MODEL H

ATOUN MODEL H’s highlights include:

  • The elderly experiencing locomotive syndrome (*4) will be able to walk around effortlessly, and by rehabilitating their ability to walk, there are hopes that this will help restore a healthy state from not only musculoskeletal illness, but also from a wide range of potential illnesses such as adult-onset diseases.
  • It is quite light, weighing in at 3.5kg, making it easy to put on and take off without any assistance, so it will help create an environment that enables the elderly to easily integrate walking training in their daily routine.
Panasonic Powered Wear: ATOUN MODEL H

Panasonic Powered Wear: ATOUN MODEL H

ATOUN will begin test marketing in 2019 with a view to bring the product to the market.

*1: HIMICO
“HIMICO” is the development code name for this prototype. The product is planned to be named “Powered Wear ATOUN MODEL H.”
*2: Powered wear
Refers to a lightweight “robot that you can wear” equipped with motors that brings out human power.
*3: Wire-type walking assistance technology
Using sensors, the technology detects walking motion, forecasts the gait cycle, and replicates human motion mechanisms using wires and motors to induce walking motion and provide walking assistance. In comparison to the conventional exoskeleton-type, this technology has made it possible to design a more ergonomic fit and provide assistance without hindering natural human motion.
*4: Locomotive syndrome
A condition present in late middle-aged to elderly population who are at high risk of developing systemic musculoskeletal disability and limiting mobility (according to the Japanese Orthopaedic Association Corporation).

Now, ATOUN offers Powered Wear “ATOUN MODEL Y“, a wearable robot for the waist designed to reduce work-induced burdens from the backs of workers who lift heavy objects placed on the floor to waist height, and improve work efficiency.

Panasonic Powered Wear: ATOUN MODEL Y

Panasonic Powered Wear: ATOUN MODEL Y

ATOUN MODEL Y’s highlights include:

  • The carbon fiber frame gives this suit durability and lightness.
  • At approximately 4.5kg, it is the lightest in its class, and is about 40% lighter than existing products*.
*As compared to ATOUN MODEL A
  • This suit can also be worn outdoors and in rainy weather thanks to its waterproof and dustproof capabilities equivalent to IP55.
  • You can simply wear ATOUN MODEL Y like a backpack and turn on the switch. From there, it supports your waist by moving in harmony with you.
  • This model can also be worn along with an air-conditioned suit.

PRESS RELEASE

ATOUN Introduces the Powered Wear “ATOUN MODEL Y” into the Food Recycling Business

Panasonic Powered Wear: ATOUN MODEL Y

Panasonic Powered Wear: ATOUN MODEL Y

Aug 09, 2018

Hyogo, Japan – ATOUN Inc. (headquarters in Nara City, Nara Prefecture, represented by Hiromichi Fujimoto) offers Powered Wear “ATOUN MODEL Y”(*1), a wearable robot for the waist designed to reduce work-induced burdens from the backs of workers and improve work efficiency. This product was recently introduced to one of the recycling centers of Hamada Kagaku Co., Ltd. (headquarters in Amagasaki City, Hyogo Prefecture, represented by Kaichi Okano), a company engaged in environmental businesses such as the recycling of used cooking oil(*2) and food residue.(*3) Recycling food has been drawing a great deal of attention in recent years not only in Japan but also worldwide. The use of the powered wear at the recycling plant further promotes environmental actions; thus, it is a socially significant endeavor. It is also expected to create new demand for the powered wear in this business field. ATOUN will deliver a total of 12 units to all facilities operated by Hamada Kagaku.

The recently delivered Powered Wear ATOUN MODEL Y units are used by workers who remove collected meat fats (beef fat and pork fat) from containers. Since the containers of collected meat fats vary in type and shape, it is difficult to mechanize or automate the removal process. Meat fats in baskets are particularly heavy, so they place a severe burden on the backs of the workers. Use of the powered wear reduces the physical burden to the workers and also improves the work efficiency. The workers who use the powered wear said, “We were wearing waist supporters before, but once we started using the powered wear, we no longer need the waist supporters. The work is much easier to perform thanks to the powered wear.”

While examining the effect of the powered wear in use, ATOUN and Hamada Kagaku plan to collaboratively propose “workstyle reforms” to the recycling and environmental business fields.

ATOUN’s comment:
“Using the success of the powered wear by HAMADA KAGAKU as a springboard, we will address the dissemination of the product to the environmental business field. We aim to deliver 20 units to recycling companies in fiscal 2018.”

Hamada Kagaku’s comment:
“This machine alleviates the burden of lifting heavy items. In addition, we’d like to ensure fair evaluation of work performance by utilizing the sensing function so that we can create a worker-friendly environment. We hope that the use of the powered wear by our company will spur workstyle reforms in the recycling business field.”

*1: Powered Wear “ATOUN MODEL Y” for the waist
A wearable robot which alleviates the burden to the backs of workers when lifting heavy objects placed on the floor to waist height.
URL: http://atoun.co.jp/products/atoun-model-y
*2: Used cooking oil
Used oils such as vegetable oil, lard, shortening and palm oil discharged from restaurants, supermarkets, food factories and others. They are recycled and delivered as oil and fat for feed, raw material for paints, industrial fuel, raw material for detergents, raw material for medicated hand soaps, etc.
*3: Food residue
Raw fats (beef fat, pork fat), oil cake (residue generated by the processing of oil), etc.

[For inquiries, please contact the following]
ATOUN Inc.
Fukui, public relations staff
Tel: +81-(0)742-71-1878
Contact Us page: http://atoun.co.jp/contact
Homepage: http://atoun.co.jp/

Hamada Kagaku Co., Ltd.
Public relations: Nakano, Commercial Department
Tel: +81-(0)664-09-1555
Contact Us page: http://www.hamadakagaku.co.jp/inquiry.php
Homepage: http://www.hamadakagaku.co.jp/index.php

About ATOUN

Established by using in-house venture system of Panasonic in 2003. ATOUN creates a new value and possibility to all workers by providing power assist products such as wearable robot “Power Assist Suit”. ATOUN aims to achieve “Power-Barrierless Society” where the people can work regardless of their age and gender.

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