Arizona State University professor proving robots aren't a threat to humans in the workplace

Posted at 9:55 PM, Apr 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-20 01:23:24-04

Robots are taking over everything these days. From manufacturing to fast food orders, robots are becoming the new norm. But, one Arizona State University professor said we should not be afraid of them stealing our jobs with his new invention.

It looks like part of it is a bulletproof vest and the other half is a bionic suit.

"It pushes your leg up and it pushes your leg back," explained Professor Tom Sugar with Arizona State University.

He showed us one of his inventions that he brought to the conference on Wednesday night that is aimed at helping those who are on their feet all day at their jobs.

"A lot of places, people walk 15 to 18 miles a day in some of these warehouses," Professor Sugar explained. "So, this would just give you assistance."

The invention straps around your chest and legs, then calibrate to help move correctly. It helps propel you forward; roughly 10 percent to 15 percent faster than normal, while helping combat workplace injuries with its structure.

But, Sugar hopes the future will also bring his invention to daily activities — like hiking.

Sugar works in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, but also helps put on WearRacon17 in downtown Phoenix. This event, which is running from April 19 to April 21, brings exoskeleton creators and industry leaders from around the world into one room.

Right now, a device like Professor Sugar's would cost roughly $10,000 to $15,000. It is a hefty price to pay for power.

"But, once these devices get more popular," Professor Sugar explained. "The prices will go down."

Professor Sugar said a lot of the innovative products around the conference are being used right now in clinics. But, he hopes industry leaders will choose to buy these for their employees to help the young and the old to work safer.