Feeling too old to pick grapes? That's God's way of saying it's time to go. But researches at Japan's Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology have developed a robotic suit to aid the elderly in their farming longevity. Hooray? NO, NOT HOORAY.
The metal and plastic device features eight electric motors as well as a voice-recognition system and sensors that track movement.
So far, the researchers have developed two models. One 66 pound model is intended for heavy lifting, while a smaller model is designed for easier jobs-i.e. picking grapes. According to researchers working on the project, the robo-suits can cut down on users' physical exertion by 62%.
Such technology doesn't come cheap. When the robo-suit goes on sale in Japan in 2012, researchers expect that it will cost $11,000. It will still probably sell well, however, since two-thirds of Japan's agricultural workers are over 65. Next up: adding augmented reality technology to the suits. Augmented reality goggles could, for example, tell workers when grapes are ripe. They could also keep track of users' vital signs.
As somebody who's no stranger to trolling retirement homes for free labor, I've got to admit: those bastards will die on you without a moment's notice. Now I know what you're thinking, "Jesus, GW, please tell me you didn't riffle through the deceased's room for valuables". OF COURSE I DIDN'T, I'M NOT SOME F***ING SICKO....Anybody want to buy a musicbox?
Japanese Robo-Suit Helps the Elderly to Farm [inhabitat]
Thanks to Braden M, who thinks we should just let robots do all the farming. No, Branden, NO. Children. Children are the answer.