The Unplugged Powered Suit (UPS), a new model of pneumatic muscle and an active type of assistive equipment incorporating the muscle, is wearable equipment that supports human movement without requiring any electronic devices and tanks. It employs a newly developed pneumatic muscle named Pneumatic Gel Muscle (PGM) as an actuator.
The UPS consists of three parts: PGM (drive part), pump (air pressure for flexing artificial muscle), and pipework (transmission). PGM is characterized as light and flexible, and can exert supportive power by low air pressure. The pump is equipped in the sole, and thus the driving force can be transmitted to PGM by using the human body weight. Overall, the UPS has a very simple structure, is easy to maintain, and is inexpensive.
The UPS improves the quality of life of not only elderly individuals, but also healthy people who enjoy sports activities.