Work on a large version that can carry up to 220 pounds has been underway for several years,
but now Activelink is focused on a smaller version called the Power
Loader Lite, which can handle about 120 pounds. The idea is that the
suit will give people like nuclear plant and emergency workers extra
strength in demanding situations, reducing the number of people required
to do a task.
Power Loader Lite uses far fewer motors than the 22
needed for the original large version, making its energy consumption
more manageable. Power is supplied by lithium-ion batteries housed in
what essentially becomes the backpack once you're inside the suit.
Activelink sees the Power Loader Lite playing an active role in the cleanup at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where workers have to wear heavy radiation suits for protection while
performing difficult work. Following that, Activelink plans to develop a
special version of the Power Loader for use in space, and even a
waterproof version for use in deep sea exploration.
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