There is no question that wheels are better than legs. Even the creator of Evangelion has given one EVA unit wheels (Provisional Unit-05). But wheels have its limitation, such as when encountering uneven surfaces like a flight of stairs. ATOUN, Panasonic’s in-house venture system specializing in Exo suits has overcome this by combining the best of both worlds ATOUN KOMA 1.5.
The ATOUN KOMA 1.5 Small Powered Suit is almost like fictional Provisional Unit-05, but as an Exo suit to aid in carrying and moving heavy loads. The objective of KOMA is to enable a person to effortlessly move around while carrying heavy objects.
According to the product page, it “supports the wearer’s movements by holding heavy with its two legs.” In addition, it is a robot too, capable of detecting and avoiding obstacles with its camera and AI.
ATOUN KOMA 1.5 Small Powered Suit has two modes: Buggy Mode and Two-Legged Mode. In the Buggy Mode, wheels are deployed for moving on flat surfaces swiftly, and in Two-Legged Mode, which can be activated at a touch of a button, it transforms into a pair of powered legs that allows the wearer to walk up or down a flight of stairs.
ATOUN KOMA has been in development for several years not. ATOUN KOMA 1.5 is, obviously, not a completed product yet. The video, which you can find embedded below, only demonstrates the two different modes. It does not show us how it can be used to carry heavy objects.