back to article Robotic exoskeleton gets gardening job

Honda has already paraded several robotic exoskeletons designs. But now the concept’s been adapted to aid gardeners digging up spuds and pulling radishes. Can't see the video? Download Flash Player from The Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology has designed what’s been dubbed a wearable agriculture …


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  1. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    Well, obviously...

    I wish to be the first toe welcome the arrival of our radish-harvesting wearable overlords.

  2. James Hughes

    Dig up sprouts..?

    You pluck sprouts, not dig them up....

  3. Lionel Baden
    Paris Hilton

    Oh yeah Lol

    It’s expected to cost between ¥500,000 and ¥1m (£7669/€8425/$11,195).

    And its designed for farmers !!!

    I think it might be a little above their pay grade !!!

    I think somebody going get fired for a slight miss on the target audience

    PH cause its about her IQ level

  4. Adam Foxton

    This could have made a great RoTM article

    "Robotic parasites forcing lowly fleshbags to toil in fields"

  5. Duncan King


    Dig up *sprouts* with ease? If you need to dig up your sprouts, you're doing something *very* wrong.

  6. Richard Hebert

    Batteries ?

    Err nice suit but where are the batteries ? and how much do they weight to assist a worker for a half day ?

    will he have to carry an ac cord around the feild ? Dosen't look too comfortable either.For now it's certainly a curiosity and research item but imho .. we're far from the bionic farmer taking his cows in by throwing them over his shoulder :)

    Good day

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Alternatively, import a kosovan granny for 1000

    This reminds of an entertaining case of hard "gardening work" I observed in Bulgaria around 15 years ago. New tennants moved into the cafe across the street from where I worked and tried to put the garden in front in order. Part of this involved digging up and cultivating a patch of soil that was used as a path by all students going back and fourth to one of Sofia University departments for the last 10 years. It was compacted so well that you could probably drive a shuttle transporter across it without it giving away.

    So 4 fit muscled blokes (really tough and mean looking) tried to dig the patch up to saw a lawn. By the end of the first morning they barely did a couple of square meters. At that point they left it. Next day a 70-year or so old looking gran in a headscarf, all bent at the back and barely walking with a walking stick showed up. She had the entire patch dug up and cultivated in 2 hours.

    Manual "hard" agricultural work is actually skilled labor. It does not matter how strong you are and how much of exosceleton assistance you are getting. A 70 year old gran from a 5th world country can happily overtake you because she actually knows how to achieve most with minimum effort. Their services also tend to cost less than an those of an exosceleton warrior.

  8. Samuel Williams

    Gardeners World

    "Dig up sprouts with ease"? You need a different sort of help if you're trying that: last time I looked they grew on stalks above ground...

  9. TeeCee Gold badge

    I read this and think:

    <Alan Titchmarsh>

    "Move over Ripley, this one's mine."

    </Alan Titchmarsh>

  10. Chris Collins


    I think you'll find sprouts grow above ground.

  11. N


    I can see all sorts of uses for that when its available.

  12. vale

    Do the robot?!

    Looks like that exoskeleton would be a awesome aid to the robot dance.

    /robot walks to the nearest 80's disco.

  13. Paul Stephenson


    I don't get it, how exactly does this aid the wearer? By offering support for the posture of the person or by providing a bit of extra umph for pulling up said spuds? I'm assuming the former....

  14. Anonymous Coward

    But... butt?

    Does it help with constipation or let you relieve yourself and fertilize at the same time? Thought not.

    Mine's the one with the colostomy bag in the pocket.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I'll wait for firmware 2.0

    So that it doesn't make you look like you've shat yourself when you're walking.

    OTOH, maybe the poor operator has done just that.

  16. CockKnocker

    can i...

    Dont care about picking sprouts or digging them up but if I buy one can I jump a hundred feet, kick down walls, pickup a car, fly, or at least something cool? If not I think im gonna pass...

  17. Cris Wilson
    Thumb Up

    @Lionel Baden

    It's about the same cost as a tractor isn't it?

  18. Mike
    Thumb Down


    I worked agricultural jobs as summer work while a teenager (picking strawberries, picking apples, picking tobacco (yes, tobacco)), and I would have been fired if I worked that slowly.

  19. Bounty


    it shows him kinda struggling to pull up a plant, but it doesn't show him wearing gloves, or grimacing... meaning it wasn't hard to pull up. I think a better gadget for that kind of farmer would be a small bag with some hand tools. They could save up 11,000$ per farmer and eventually buy a tractor. ohhhhh fancy

  20. Neoc

    How long...

    ...before the first MOD forum goes online, giving you tips on how to "overclock" you powersuit?

    Mine's the cargolifter.

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