A robot venture from Japan called Cyberdyne (yes, just like the evil corporation in the Terminator movies) has been in the news for years now for its futuristic exoskeleton HAL-5, a wearable robotic suit that helps paralyzed persons walk and lift heavy objects.
Until now, the spectacular suit was marketed mainly in Japan, but today it came to light that Professor Sankai (the mastermind behind the exoskeleton) plans to step up the internationalization of his company. Six units of HAL-5 will be exported to hospitals and health care facilities in Odense, a city in Denmark, as early as next month. The suits will be tested for six months for safety and efficiency.
HAL-5 is full-body robotic gear that’s about 1.60m tall and weighs 23kg (another model for the lower body weighs 8kg less). It converts brain signals sensed through the skin into motion, enabling handicapped people to walk around and lift heavy objects almost effortlessly (needless to say, the suit supports its own weight).
I saw an early version of HAL back in 2004 and even that version was fully functional and impressive (it was demonstrated by Professor Sakai and one of his students during an event in Tokyo). HAL-5 works for over 2.5h on a single battery charge.
Watch it in action in the video below (English subs):
Via Nikkei [registration required, paid subscription]