Tokyo University of Science shows off robotic suit powered by pneumatic artificial muscles (video)

What can one do with a robot suit? Well, it's certainly not limited to just lifting sacks of rice, but that was exactly what we got to do at CEATEC courtesy of Koba Lab from Tokyo University of Science. First seen in 2009, the magic behind this 9kg kit are the pair of pneumatic artificial muscles (aka McKibben artificial muscles) on the back, which are made by industrial equipment manufacturer Kanda Tsushin. When pressurized with air using electrical components from KOA Corporation, the lightweight, loosely-woven PET tubes contract and consequently provide support to the user's back, shoulders and elbows. As such, our arms were able to easily hold two more sacks of rice (making it a total of 50kg) until the demonstrator deflated the muscles. Check out our jolly hands-on video after the break.