The Muscle Upper robot suit is designed to assist with human arm and back movements. (Shotaro Hamada)

A Tokyo university venture group has developed a robotic suit that allows users to lift loads of about 30 kilograms with ease.

Innophys Co., set up by the Tokyo University of Science, unveiled the "Muscle Upper" powered exoskeleton suit to help with human arm and back movements.

The accessory, weighing about 8 kilograms, can be used at factories and other work sites, company officials said.

The suit is designed to be worn on the back to help lift heavy loads to shoulder height. Compressed air from an external compressor is used to flex the artificial muscles, which are made of rubber tubes.

The product's previous incarnation, the Muscle Suit, which assists with back movements, went on sale in 2014.

The company decided to expand its product lineup to include a device that helps with the arms and not only the back, as some factory and distribution workers have asked for such a suit, the officials said.

The Muscle Upper suit is priced at 1.98 million yen ($17,600), excluding tax. The company has already received orders for the device, including from a nursery care appliance manufacturer.

“The product is compact and could be used in various settings,” said Innophys President Takashi Furukawa. “It leaves it up to human hands to do the work, while allowing the wearer to hold and lift all kinds of things.”