Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/14/exoskeleton_for_gardening/

Robotic exoskeleton gets gardening job

Dig up sprouts with ease

By James Sherwood

Posted in Hardware, 14th January 2009 00:02 GMT

Honda has already paraded several robotic exoskeletons designs. But now the concept’s been adapted to aid gardeners digging up spuds and pulling radishes.

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The Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology has designed what’s been dubbed a wearable agriculture robotic suit for tough farming work, according to a report by website Japan Probe.

Essentially, the wearer’s muscles are aided by the suit’s eight motors positioned around troublesome areas, such as the shoulders, elbows and knees.

Its designers hope to bring the exoskeleton to market within two years. It’s expected to cost between ¥500,000 and ¥1m (£7669/€8425/$11,195).