PANASONIC Corporation is providing power assist suits 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 synchronised to provide wearers with mechanised power for performing strenuous tasks more 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.
WPPO officially selected Panasonic’s power assist suits for use during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Panasonic is an official supplier of the international federation, based on an agreement signed last month.
Panasonic is also an Olympic partner.
Para powerlifting is a bench-press competition for athletes with disabilities in their lower limbs.
Competitions are organised into 10 weight classes ranging from 49kg to 107kg+ for men and 41kg to 86kg+ for women.
In large tournaments, it is not unusual for each spotter/loader to handle more than 100 weights of between 10kg and 50kg.
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 and faster weight handling between lift attempts to facilitate smoother competitions and improved performance by loader/spotters.
It also showed decreased physical burdens on loaders and an improved sense of safety for competitors when attempting lifts.
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