When you’re carrying a heavy load, walking on flat ground can be quite difficult, let alone climbing stairs. The Koma 1.5 is designed to help, by alternately acting as a powered stroller or a bipedal exoskeleton.
Currently in working prototype form, the device is being developed by Panasonic subsidiary Atoun. Among other things, the Japanese “assisted wear” company previously brought us Model Y and Himico assist skeletons, helping their wearers lift heavy objects and walk over rough terrain , corresponding.
The idea behind Koma 1.5 is that when a user carries its load across smooth, flat surfaces – such as a factory floor or a warehouse – they simply stand on top of the rig, keeping their hands on the controls of the Koma 1.5. it and moved by its four motorized wheels. This is called Buggy Mode, and it offers both the smoothest ride and the simplest operation.
However, if the user needs to climb stairs or step over an obstacle, pressing the button switches the setup to Bipedal Mode. Its two front wheels then retract to form two powered “legs”, which articulate with the movement of the user’s foot, supporting them as they step up and down.
As an added bonus, Koma 1.5 is said to be capable of automatically detecting and avoiding obstacles, using a built-in camera and an AI-based computer vision system.
There is currently no word on when or whether the device will be manufactured. For now, however, you can see the prototype in action, in the following video.
Supported Outfits CODE KOMA 1.5
Source: Atoun via IEEE Spectrum