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Heavy Lifting is About to Get Easy
By: Stuart Heater
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When I say the word "exosuit," what comes to your mind? Something out a sci-fi movie, perhaps? Or maybe a popular video game, Call of Duty? I’ll bet you wouldn’t think of a banker, though, and that’s where I’m going with this. In Japan, there is a bank that has begun to issue exosuits to some of its senior employees to help with heavy lifting.
 
The Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation has said it will supply Hybrid Assistive Limbs, otherwise known as HAL, to some of its senior employees in an effort to accommodate them when it comes to heavy lifting.
 
So what can the HAL do? The HAL was created by design to reinforce its user’s strength by lessening an item's perceived weight by an astonishing 40%. Tomoyuki Narita, a spokesperson for the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, told the Wall Street Journal, “There have been many cases when a physical burden was placed on senior employees carrying heavy parcels of banknotes and coins. By adopting Cyberdyne's robotic suits, we can help reduce that burden."

When you take into account that around 16% of SMBC’s workforce is over the age of 65, you can see how this would benefit senior employees. With 25% of Japan’s population being over 65, there’s no telling how great a help the HAL could be to the general public, let alone bank workers. People of all ages are lifting and moving things every day; some might have back injuries or other conditions in which the HAL could be of great use.
 
Imagine you just bought your dream home. It’s time to move and you know you have a lot of heavy furniture. You know this is the start of a long, strenuous day. Now imagine it's move-in day again, only this time you have the HAL to help. Your day just became a lot easier! This could apply to numerous other scenarios in which any form of heavy lifting is involved.
 
If this technology can help workers avoid injuries, while at the same time making items 40% lighter, it seems like a no brainer for other companies to research the benefits the HAL could bring. There is no need for anyone to strain themselves while moving something from one area to another. Also, it just sounds cool to wear an exosuit, no matter what you’re using it for.


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About the Author
Stuart Heater is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a degree in Marketing and Mass Communication. He is an avid sports spectator, Netflix connoisseur, and has a passion for technology.
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