Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Japanese Exoskeleton Ready For Prime Time

The powered exoskeleton called HAL is now available in Japan for a monthly rental fee of $2200. Honestly, when I first saw the HAL suit demonstrated, I thought it was probably some sort of a fake, looking more like a prop from a sci-fi movie than an actual device. But here it is, being released into the real world. As AP reports:

TSUKUBA, Japan - A robotic suit that reads brain signals and helps people with mobility problems will be available to rent in Japan for $2,200 a month starting Friday — an invention that may have far-reaching benefits for the disabled and elderly.

HAL — short for "hybrid assistive limb" — is a computerized suit with sensors that read brain signals directing limb movement through the skin.

The 22-pound battery-operated computer system is belted to the waist. It captures the brain signals and relays them to mechanical leg braces strapped to the thighs and knees, which then provide robotic assistance to people as they walk.

No comments: