Power suit for Japanese farmers


Researchers at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology have been demoing a new power suit. It’s intended to be used by people hand harvesting in the farm industry. The 55 pound device supports the worker’s joints as they squat and reach. Within three years, they hope to have the cost within $10K. We’ve seen quite a few power suit devices this year, but research has been going on for many years, as you can see in our power suit roundup.

[Thanks Lane]


  1. sarsface says:

    $10 grand is more than a farm worker like that would make in their entire ‘career’

  2. Anti-sarsface says:

    Sarsface is a dick. Farmers are the lifeblood of modern civilization and something like this would more than likely be used in high-profit operations anyway… and when it becomes affordable, will be paid for courtesy of the national health plan (Except in the US where you can just roll over and die if you haven’t got money)…

  3. Jack says:

    Hey, enough with the juvenile behavior around here.

    $10 grand is indeed a lot for the average farmer to be spending (assuming your government isn’t covering the cost), but this device may allow that farmer to work effectively for many more years, due to a decrease in overuse injuries. Additionally, as the technology matures, hopefully those prices will continue to go down, making these devices available to more workers who could use them.

  4. sarsface says:

    I wasn’t in any way attacking farmers. I was merely pointing out how no farmhand could afford that themselves

  5. Dan says:

    What if you are a farmer who lives in a very secluded place, alone, without any family or friends and the power suit runs out of batteries while you are in the middle of a corn field? HOw the heck would you get out of it if you couldn;t move your arms??? LOL

  6. Jack says:

    @dan: not sure if it’s a serious question or not, but I’ll assume it is. I’m not an expert, but as far as I can tell, once the power is gone, the holding torque would be gone, too. Therefore, there wouldn’t be much resistance to your movements. You’d just have to remove it. Someone more familiar with these systems can probably provide more insight.

  7. bigbob says:

    Obviously none of you have been around farming or farmers too much in your life. this is completely impractical for any farming use. first is price, it is much to expensive for what it does compared to hiring workers to do the same work. anything that this suit would be used to do is already done by workers anyhow. maybe in japan or wherever, but they are going to move to a more modern technology (tractors and other equipment) before they drop 10k on one of these future generation contraptions.

  8. BigD145 says:

    Poor immigrant farm workers with 37 year life spans are far more practical.

  9. loldongs says:

    mexicans: america’s power armour

  10. PvP says:

    Do I sense a Falcon Punch suit in the near future?!

  11. Damn those Japanese are lazy. I remember when I were a lad, we had to pull giant carrots the size of a house out of the ground only using our teeth. Then we had to carry a herd of cows over 500 miles to market on our backs and be home in time to cook dinner for the family (24 sons, 18 daughters and 5 indeterminate). We were proper men back in those days, not like these namby-pamby robot lads…

  12. mig says:

    some of you seem to think this is a cost-saving device when it is clearly a life-easier-making device. It doesn’t DO the work of a farmhand, just prevents them from getting injuries by supporting their joints (rtfa!)

    also @ bigbob: do you think japan is somehow agriculturally backwards? i think it’s safe to say they already have tractors mate.

  13. dashdingo says:

    Why work on a powersuit when you can develop something that can do the picking for them?

    Oh, wait, loss of jobs to machines then. Damn.

  14. moniker says:

    One thing to remember about Japanese culture is that put much more value on “first of spring” crops. In Japanese markets a naturally grown and harvested product from the first crop of the year sells for insane amounts. To them, easing hand harvesting and extending the work life of a farmer who knows how to tend and harvest perfectly proportioned crops could actually be a very economcial decision.

  15. RobLaNov says:

    lets be honest, this is a government conspiracy to put the budding scarecrow industry in Japan out of business.

  16. Brakk says:

    @dan: I guess you would just be stuck out in the field until a girl and her dog came along with a can of oil.

    Does anyone else think this looks like a bunch of CD spindle cases and computer power supplies spray painted silver and taped to him?

  17. marz says:

    I think the Asians are still stuck in the “Transformers” mind-state.

    Obviously this will slow you down more than it will speed you up.

  18. Greg says:

    Well if this is a bunch of cd spindle cases and power supplies (a fake suit), it wouldn’t be the first time the japanese faked something…

  19. Sandman says:

    “We’ve seen quite a few power suit devices this year”
    I know I’m nitpicking, but either this is from an article buffer or you’re still in 2008. =)

  20. J says:

    It’s real intended purpose is giving you a fighting chance against those pesky DEA agents.

  21. dAz says:

    $10K too much for a farmer to afford? How much do you think tractors cost? Or ploughs, or combine harvesters.

  22. Jynx says:

    @j XD yes.

  23. Tachyon says:

    It would be cool to hook one of those up to a neural network so a robot could gradually learn to take over from the farmer completely. Like the motions the suit encodes would be used to train the network on exactly how to grab the plant being harvested ect.

  24. deadlokIV says:

    This looks, at first glance, like the HAL robot suit!


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