Daibutsu, Kamakura

Daibutsu, Kamakura
Daibutsu in Kamakura, June 2010. There were thousands of school kids visiting that day. It was still great fun.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Company shows off new robot suit in Tokyo

This is really cool. I can see the future when these types of suits can help a paraplegic to walk or to assist people in lifting heavy objects.


Company shows off new robot suit in Tokyo
Device equipped with sensors that read brain signals directing limbs
The Associated Press
updated 6:45 a.m. PT, Tues., Aug 4, 2009

TOKYO - Employees of a Japanese robotics company have been showing off a rehabilitation suit designed to help people with mobility problems on the streets of downtown Tokyo.

Cyberdyne said its 22 pound (10 kilogram) HAL — short for hybrid assistive limb — is equipped with sensors that read brain signals directing limb movement through the skin.

Wearing HAL, the three people took an hour-long train ride Monday from Tsukuba, north of the Japanese capital, to downtown Tokyo.

"HAL is to help people with weak leg muscles and mobility problems ... We wanted to show HAL is very useful for our daily life," said company official Takatoshi Kuno.

Belted to the waist, HAL relays brain signals to mechanical leg braces strapped to the thighs and knees, which then provide robotic assistance to people with weak limbs.

HAL comes in three sizes — small, medium and large — and has a one-leg version for a 150,000 yen ($1,570) monthly rental fee, while a two-leg unit goes for 220,000 yen ($2,300) a month. It was unclear when HAL would go on sale to the public or what the price tag will be.

The robotics company declined to say how much it cost to manufacture HAL.

Cyberdyne said the United States and some European nations have expressed interest, but it did not elaborate further.

HAL may have far-reaching benefits for the disabled and elderly. Japan is grappling with a rapidly aging society. About one-fifth of the population of 128 million is 65 or older, and that figure is expected to double in the next 30 years.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32282749/ns/technology_and_science-innovation/


  1. Now that is frikken awesome! I definitely like the name too. "Cyberdyne". Sounds vaguely familiar.. I just can't place it... Hmm. well just so long as no robots come hunting me down with a vengeance I guess it's okay.

    -cue Terminator theme song...

  2. Yes, Cyberdyne. I think I have heard of them also. I think their HQ used to be down in Orange County until some crazy guy, a kid and his mom blew it up. I think they have relocated to some more secure facility in the desert.