projects

2019/02/28

design development

Muscle Suit Concept Model
INNOPHYS CO., LTD.

The Muscle Suit is a wearable motion assistance device by INNOPHYS, a venture company originating out of the Tokyo University of Science. It is powerful and easy to use, supporting workers in nursing care, agriculture, construction and cargo handling, and part of a growing revolution in muscle assistance technology.

Product Development Concept Model

Envision became involved in the project from the development of the concept model that was first shown publicly in 2015. Around that time, when the rapid aging of society was already being widely discussed, upper-body muscle-assistance wearable devices had started to make their first impact in nursing care. It was a good time to use design not only to answer the obvious need to differentiate from other makers’ products, but also to communicate the advantages offered by this new technology.

A Design Strategy With a View to the Future

In our first meetings with INNOPHYS we took on board their image of a future-oriented wearable device. We then put together a design strategy that aims to convey the strengths of the Muscle Suit and places importance on the opinions and feelings of actual users of the product.
Based on this strategy, we pushed the project forward through the stages of product design, production engineering and design, materials selection, logo design and color variation design, through to the finished product.

Comfort in Daily Life

The Muscle Suit is a wearable robot, but one that can become part of daily life, so we had to avoid creating a cold, inorganic “sci-fi” product. To encourage first-time users, we aimed for a design with a casual feeling that implies ease-of-use and a sense that it will provide firm muscle support.

Life Changing Design

After completion of the concepts model, INNOPHYS launched two models that do not need an external high-pressure air supply, the “Stand Alone” and even lighter “Edge” versions. These two designs further built on the concept model’s design philosophy and used soft materials for the outer cover to communicate their lightweight construction.

Envision’s company philosophy is Life Changing Design. The Muscle Suit project is an expression of that philosophy, a product that builds on its design to have a direct impact on its users and others who come into direct contact with it.

Launched at the 2015 International Robot Show as the EXO-MUSCLE concept model.

The design implies tha the Muscle-Suit can be worn with the easy feeling of a knapsack. It features a high impact resistance plastic protector attached to a soft nylon and neoprene rubber cover over a basic aluminum skeleton.

Designed carefully to communicate a casual feeling to users, using materials commonly used in knapsacks and with waterproof fasteners for protection against the elements. An easy-to-use device that suits any style of dress.

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    INNOPHYS CO., LTD.