With the aid of high-tech robotic suits, more elderly Japanese workers are now taking on labor-intensive jobs previously handled by younger, abled bodies.
Postponing retirement and continuing to work well into old age are not unusual things to do for many Japanese people. For a country with an increasingly aging population, Japan has depended on modern technology to allow its citizens to remain productive members of society for much longer.
These senior citizen members of the workforce are now wearing exoskeleton suits that boost their strength and stamina, reports the New Scientist.
While a far cry from the mech suits from sci-fi movies, these wearable “robot suits” are still impressive. Weighing less than 10 pounds, these suits can help lift up to 55 pounds.
Earlier exoskeleton models were built to prevent injuries to workers in warehouses but the innovation has proven to be quite useful in aiding the disabled and older people.
This development has inspired several Japanese companies to purchase or create a similar piece of tech to help workers in doing the heavy lifting.
With over a quarter of its population now over the age of 65, the Japanese government has been mulling about raising the retirement age to 70.
Innophys, which produces the “Every Muscle Suit,” recently sold the exosuit unit to a small firm in Japan for its 70-year-old employee so he could continue with his role.
“We have no option – elderly people need to stay at the workplace,” Daigo Orihara of Innophys was quoted as saying.