A Filipino won the prestigious Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors’ Award in Singapore for creating an Iron Man-like suit fitted for possible everyday use.
Named the ARMAS robotic suit based from the Filipino and Spanish word meaning “weapon,” it serves the purpose of making its user stronger with its functions.
Though it didn’t turn out quite similar to the one used by the Marvel superhero, it serves the same purpose.
“It’s unique in that it’s an all-fabric construction. We don’t use anything metallic. As a result, our suit is incredibly light and it can be worn just like you’re wearing normal clothing,” said Dr. Rainier Natividad, CEO designate of ArmasTec.
“We hope to empower everyone to be Iron Man of sorts to level the physical playing field for people of all ages and also different genders, so that they can carry heavy things and be productive as well,” added Serene Wong, COO designate of ArmasTec.
The ARMAS robotic suit holds great promise for those working in the construction, delivery, and health care industries who need help with back pain.
With the award, Natividad said it helped the country gain more global recognition in the field of science and engineering.
“As an engineer coming from the Philippines, we don’t usually get the chance to win awards like this so you can imagine I was super giddy during the ceremony,” he said.
Wong, meanwhile, saw the award as a way for women to be more recognized in such practices.
“I think, in terms of robotics, its’ not something that only men are interested in. I think even ladies can definitely benefit greatly from—having this productive tool,” she said.
Natividad and Wong are schoolmates, business partners, and researchers from the National University of Singapore. They hope to make their product licensed and commercially available soon.
ArmasTec, meanwhile, is part of the NUS Graduate Research Innovation Program. – Franchesca Viernes/RC, GMA News