Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology in Germany are working to develop a “soft robot” vest which will aid caregivers in being able to lift and move patients with limited mobility. One of the more difficult parts of caring for a partially or fully immobile patient lies in being able to carry and move patients. If a caregiver is not in good physical shape, or if the patient is very heavy, both caregiver and patient stand the risk of injury. However, the soft robot vest being developed by the Fraunhofer Institute works by using the wearer’s movements: the vest stores energy when the wearer bends down to lift the patient, then releases a boost of energy to help the wearer lift the patient. The vest can be tailored to adjust the amount of energy released and when, and the vest also features sensors to warn the wearer against over-exertion. Though the device is still in prototype phases, it can potentially be of great use to caregivers both at home and in the hospital.