*The Power Assist Suit is a Paralympic limited category, excluding the United States for marketing rights.
*For the robot vacuum cleaners, Panasonic has marketing rights worldwide except the Americas and Australia.
Panasonic showed off its latest robotics innovations at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, presenting the world with exciting new technology while ensuring a safe and efficient tournament. This ambitious project saw Panasonic’s power assist suits and intelligent cleaning robots aid Olympic and Paralympic staff and athletes in a next-generation vision of the Games. Read on to learn more about these revolutionary technologies and how they can help society.
A Worldwide First: Power Assist Suits at the Paralympic Games
Panasonic introduced the capabilities of its ATOUN MODEL Y power assist suit to the world at the Paralympic powerlifting tournament between August 26th and 30th. Developed to reduce the physical strain caused by repetitive heavy lifting, the suit was used for the first time by spotters and loaders to help them move weights and support the athletes.
The MODEL Y suit was fitted with super responsive sensors able to detect minute user movements and instantly respond with a supply of mechanized power. Demonstrations showed those wearing the suit enjoyed a 10-40% reduction in muscle burden, making it noticeably easier for the spotters and loaders to move the weights.
Through intensive tests and plenty of feedback, the MODEL Y was designed with user comfort at the forefront. Robotic suits generally require close physical contact with the body for accurate support, but testers of early iterations of the MODEL Y reported feeling sweaty and awkward, making them reluctant to use the suit again. Panasonic responded to these problems by redesigning the suits to make them as user-friendly and unobtrusive as possible. Many years of trial-and-error development have culminated in a super comfortable, breathable suit that can be easily put on and taken off without clinging to or irritating the skin.
A Spotless Main Press Center Thanks to AI Cleaning Robots
Panasonic also demonstrated its latest cleaning robot technology at the Main Press Center (MPC) in the Tokyo Big Sight convention hall. Boasting acute awareness of their surroundings and high-precision movement, these state-of-the-art AI cleaning robots thoroughly and intelligently cleaned areas of the center with minimal human management. This reduced the need for personnel at Tokyo Big Sight during the Games, acting as another prevention against the spread of COVID-19 and allowing resources to be more effectively deployed elsewhere.
Panasonic’s Bold Vision of the Future
Panasonic envisions their robotics innovations implemented during Tokyo 2020 eventually contributing to solving the social issues that will undoubtedly arise over time due to Japan’s super-aging society.
Of course, this is no easy task, and will greatly require the coexistence of humans and robots. With this in mind, Panasonic will continue developing its robotics technologies to make them even more practical and useful to society.
※1: LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) A sensor that measures distance by irradiating a pulsed laser beam onto objects and measuring the time it takes for the reflected scattered light to return.
※2: nanoe™, and the nanoe™ mark are trademarks of Panasonic Corporation.
※3: The sterilization effect may differ depending on the condition of the dust in the dust collection box.
[Testing organization]TECHNO SCIENCE CO.,LTD.
[Testing method] Measured the number of bacteria adhered to a cloth placed in the dust collection box in the test room (about 10 square meters)
[Inhibition method] nanoe™ released
[Test Substance] Adhered bacteria
[Test result] 99% or more suppression in 2.5 hours (No. 20070646-001)
Test report publication date: March 5, 2021 (Test was conducted with two types of bacteria). Efficacy depends on the bacteria.