To combat its dwindling labor pool caused by a top-heavy, aging workforce, Japan constantly looks for ways to make things more efficient or easier. One such method is by turning all the old people into cyborgs.
Pictured to the right, Ryosuku Tanaka, a 25-year-old graduate student lifts a 44 pound bag of rice and remarks, "I hardly feel the weight. It’s as if I had powerful muscles.” The power-assisted robotic suit would allow farmers who have trouble performing their labor-intensive tasks to carry them out with less strain.
The effort to develop the suit is being led by Shigeki Toyama at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. The team hopes to have the suit done in four years, selling it for $4,500 to $9,000 apiece.