Robot legs go on sale in Japan this summer

Rescue and medical roles for Matsushita's robot walker

Natural disasters are never far away in Japan. So it's comforting to know that Matsushita/Panasonic has decided to commercialise the latest version of its robotic rescue exoskeleton there, starting in August.

For ¥20 million (£82,000), the super-rich and the super-well-prepared alike will be able to pick up their very own Power Pedal robot - a machine designed to lift and separate.

Medical uses too

In this case the idea is that it lifts their crushed bodies and separates them from tons of earthquake-devastated masonry, before rushing them to the nearest rescue point.

The robotic legs, which were developed together with Ritsumeikan University , are also likely to be used to help those unable to walk for medical reasons. So it's likely the first takers will be retirement homes for elderly gadget fans.