Japanese scientists have created a power-assisted suit which could make users as strong as Robocop or Iron Man.
The metal-and-plastic outfit boasts eight electric motors that amplify the strength of the wearer’s arms and legs, as well as sensors that can detect movements and respond to commands through a voice-recognition system.
Professor Shigeki Toyama and his team developed the power-enhancing suit at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology and Mr Toyama plans to set up a company to start producing the futuristic outfit by the end of the year.
The suits can reduce the user’s physical effort by 62 per cent on average.
Industrial robots have long been common in Japan and heavy industries may decide that the suit would help ease any physical pain experienced by workers.
When bending knees the muscular activity is reduced by half, and the suit can also take most of the strain out of crouching.
Fifteen years in the making, the “robosuit” is due to hit the Japanese market in 2012 when it will initially retail for about one million yen ($12,500), a price tag its makers hope to halve if the device is mass-produced.