In Japan, the ultimate merit of a robotic suit is measured in sacks of rice. We've seen it before
with the HAL-5. The latest suit created by students at Tokyo's University of Science provides enough assistance to the wearer's back to lift an additional 15 to 20 kilograms (that's 33 to 44 pounds) -- in other words, another two bags of rice for five in total. The university's previous robosuit was heavier and more bulky by comparison, in that it provided assistance to both the wearers back and
arms (though clearly some support is provided based on the image above). The suit will ultimately benefit factory workers or those with physical limitations when it goes into production sometime in 2010. Outstanding. Surprisingly, nobody from the university seems willing to talk about that kid with sawblade arms in the corner.