World Para Powerlifting events to preview deployment for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games as first-ever robotic-type suit in Paralympic history
Tokyo, Japan – Panasonic Corporation, an Official Worldwide Paralympic Partner, announced today that it would provide its Power Assist Suit for use at World Para Powerlifting (WPPO) events and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
The suits will be worn by spotter/loader personnel tasked with moving weights and spotting lifters during the competition. The suits feature built-in sensors that detect limb movements and motors synchronized to provide wearers with mechanized power for performing strenuous tasks easily and safely. ATOUN MODEL Y, the Power Assist Suit model chosen for the event, reduces stress on the user’s waist when lifting or lowering objects from the floor to waist height. The suit was originally designed to support personnel who frequently handle heavy loads, including at airports, factories and logistics, construction or agricultural sites.
World Para Powerlifting officially selected Panasonic’s Power Assist Suit for use during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Panasonic is an official supplier of the international federation, based on an agreement signed by Panasonic and the WPPO on September 25 2019.
Para powerlifting is a bench-press competition for athletes with disabilities in their lower limbs. Competitions are organized into 10 weight classes ranging from 49 kg to 107+ kg for men and 41 kg to 86+ kg for women. In large tournaments, it is not unusual for each spotter/loader to handle more than 100 weights of between 10 kg and 50 kg.
The Panasonic ATOUN-model Power Assist Suit has been successfully demonstrated at the Kitakyushu 2018 Asia-Oceania World Para Powerlifting Championships and Kitakyushu 2017 Para Powerlifting Japan Cup, both WPPO-sanctioned competitions. Such demonstrations have showcased the suit’s many advantages, including:
- Enhanced safety and precision when moving weights on/off bars
- Faster weight handling between lift attempts to facilitate smoother competitions
- Improved performance by loader/spotters
- Decreased physical burdens on loader/spotters
- Improved sense of safety for competitors when attempting lifts.
As a Worldwide Paralympic Partner, Panasonic supports the Games with advanced products, technologies and solutions. The company is committed to furthering the Paralympic Games by enabling people around the world to share the passion and excitement created by these world-leading sporting events.
About World Para Powerlifting World Para Powerlifting, under the governance of the International Paralympic Committee, is the international federation for the sport and is based in Bonn, Germany. Open to male and female athletes with eight eligible physical impairments, Para powerlifting athletes compete in one sport class across 10 different weight categories per gender. Major competitions include the Paralympic Games, biennial World Championships, triennial regional Championships and annual World Cup and Grand Prix events.
About Power Assist Suits
World Para Powerlifting events are ultimate tests of upper body strength in which athletes must sometimes lift more than three times their own body weights. During World Para Powerlifting competitions, loader/spotters will support the competition by handling weights for more than 180 powerlifters. It is estimated that these assistants will cumulatively handle more 8,650 kg of weight during the male and female competitions combined. Panasonic’s ATOUN MODEL Y Power Assist Suit, a wearable robotic suit weighing just 4.5 kg, will alleviate stress placed on the waists and backs of loader/spotters as they repeatedly handle weights. When a heavy weight is lifted, body-position sensors detect torso movements and trigger the operation of built-in motors that are synchronized with the person’s movements to reduce waist stress by compensating for the average motor action potential of the wearer’s muscles.
About Panasonic’s Support for Paralympic Games
Panasonic Corporation first supplied AV equipment to the Nagano 1998 Paralympic Winter Games, first sponsored the Paralympic Games in 2002, and has been an Official Worldwide International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Partner since 2014. In addition to its ongoing support of the Paralympic Movement, Panasonic provides accessible products and services to people with disabilities, the elderly and others with special needs. Panasonic believes in the Paralympic Games as a movement for global peace through sport, a natural extension of the company’s philosophy of A Better Life, A Better World. “We are honored to offer our Power Assist Suits at Para Powerlifting events and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games,” says Satoshi Takeyasu, Panasonic’s Chief Brand Communications Officer. “We are committed to using our innovative technologies to help Tokyo 2020 deliver the most innovative Paralympic Games in history.” Panasonic is also in the process of improving its websites to be accessible to all the customers. It has just conducted an accessibility test for Panasonic Official Paralympic Website based on Japanese Industrial Standards. The results are announced on the following page: https://www.panasonic.com/global/olympic/webaccessibility/190926.html
About Panasonic #ABetterLifeABetterWorld #SharingThePassion
Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and solutions for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, and B2B sectors. The company, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2018, has expanded globally and now operates 582 subsidiaries and 87 associated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 8.003 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2019. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company uses its technologies to create a better life and a better world for its customers. To learn more about Panasonic, visit https://www.panasonic.com/global.
World Para Powerlifting
Tel. +49 228 2097-159
Global Communications Department
Tel: +81 (0)3 3574 5664
World Para Powerlifting adopts Panasonic’s Power Assist Suit
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