My Bookmarks on Science & Technology, Climate Change, Astrobiology, Genetics, Evolution

September 13, 2009 – Original Source: IEET.org, by George Dvorsky

So, get this: there’s actually a Cyberdyne Corporation out there working on a device called HAL. But it’s probably not what you think.

In this case, Cyberdyne of Japan, along with Professor Sankai of Tsukuba University, have developed the Hybrid Assistive Limb—a device intended to help people walk or carry heavy loads.

The suit makes mobility easier and increases user strength to carry heavy objects. The 10-kilogram (22-pound) machine belts at the waist and has a battery and computer system at the back. The system also has sensors that pick up weak electric signals that are sent along the skin’s surface to the brain. This allows HAL to help wearers move in the way they are thinking. The average walking speed with the assist of the suit is 1.8 kilometers per hour. The company began renting out the suits last October—but at a hefty USD$2,200 a month.

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