Jakarta (ANTARA) - Tokyo University of Science professor Hiroshi Kobayashi sought to stimulate the interest of students of Islamic boarding schools in Indonesia in pursuing robotics.

An exoskeleton suit shaped like a backpack that can aid the motor movements of the elderly and people with disabilities in Japan was brought to Jakarta on Friday.

"Almost 80 percent of the population in Japan is elderly, so through this product, we help people around them to escape the sense of helplessness felt in old age," Kobayashi said at a seminar entitled "Increasing the Competency of Santri in Making Creative Products and Development of Sharia Entrepreneurs through Mastery of Technology."

Helping others is a characteristic of humanity that cannot be replaced by any artificial technology, he said.

This sense of humanity must guide a scientist in each process of designing the technology he wants to create so that it can produce results that are beneficial to humans.

Elderly people can now use artificial muscles made from rubber tubes wrapped in nylon mesh that expand when filled with compressed air.

This causes the nylon to make the tube shorter and produce a strong pulling force so that it can help with manual tasks that require strength and reduce pressure on the back when lifting heavy objects.

This suit of clothing allows the wearer to lift things weighing up to 30 kilograms.

Exoskeleton clothing is expected to be useful for improving body posture before and after using the tool, according to Teguh Wibowo (45), a Hiroshi Kobayashi seminar participant from Bandung, West Java, who had the opportunity to discuss and try out exoskeleton clothing made by the innovator directly.

Wibowo said that this assistive clothing product could be a solution for most people, especially those who have experienced muscle injuries like himself.

However, according to Wibowo, the price of the product, which is 1,100 US dollars (around Rp17,4 million), can be lowered further to suit the economic conditions of most people in Indonesia.

Muhammad Asy'ari Akbar, head of the Minhajurrosyidin Islamic boarding school in Jakarta, said that the concept of tools created or practiced by Kobayashi was still in the same vein as the moral teachings received by students at the Islamic boarding school.

It covered ways to behave with parents and people with disabilities, and how to be a human being who is useful to other humans.

As auxiliary clothing becomes more affordable, it is possible that sci-fi-style clothing will be commonly used in Indonesia by people with disabilities, the elderly with mobility problems, disaster volunteers, and care workers in the near future.

The students have been asked to capture other creative ideas that make things easier for humans in accordance with the values stated by the Prophet Muhammad that the best people are those who deliver the most benefits for humans.

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Translator: Abdu F, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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