Development of Muscle Suit for Upper Body

Hiroshi Kobayashi, Akitaka Uchimura, Taichi Shiiba

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

8 Citations (Scopus)


We have been developing a "muscle suit" that provides muscular support to the paralyzed or those otherwise unable to move unaided, as well as to manual workers. The muscle suit is a garment without a metal frame and uses a McKibben actuator driven by compressed air. Because actuators are sewn into the garment, no metal frame is needed, making the muscle suit very light and cheap. Most medical and welfare apparatuses have been developed for the caregiver rather than for the patient in need of nursing, detracting from the patient's sense of self-sufficiency and generally discouraging the patient. With the muscle suit, the patient can willfully control his or her movement. The muscle suit is very helpful for both muscular and emotional support. In this paper, we propose an armor-type muscle suit in order to overcome issues of a prototype system and then show how abduction motion, which we believe is the most difficult motion for the upper body, is realized. Moreover, we propose an easy control method in which the wearer uses pressure differential signals.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2003
Event2003 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems - Las Vegas, NV, United States
Duration: 27 Oct 200331 Oct 2003


Conference2003 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
CountryUnited States
CityLas Vegas, NV



  • Abduction
  • Cheap and light apparatus without metal frame
  • McKibben artificial muscle
  • Medical and welfare apparatus
  • Muscle suit
  • Muscular support apparatus
  • Wearable robot

Cite this

Kobayashi, H., Uchimura, A., & Shiiba, T. (2003). Development of Muscle Suit for Upper Body. 3624-3629. Paper presented at 2003 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Las Vegas, NV, United States.