Giant Robot from Japan? Not *Quite* Yet

Elderly or disabled people with mobility problems in Japan are now able to rent a robotic suit that will enable them to walk.

Agence France-Presse reports that a company called Cyberdyne is making the suit, which detects electrical signals through the skin, then relays them to mechanical braces that lift the user’s limbs for them.

The suits, which will first be leased to patients in hospitals and rehabilitation centers, are said to enable even paralyzed people to walk.

Several countries are interested in renting the suits, which are available for up to five years.

The HAL suit, or Hybrid Assistive Limb, weighs 24 pounds, although officials say the user won’t notice the robot’s weight.

The suit can help people carry loads of up to 100 pounds, making it a viable investment for construction companies.

HAL designer Professor Yoshiyuki Sankai of Tsukuba University told AFP: “I believe technology becomes useful only when it works for people. I refuse any possible military use of my robot suits.”

–Julia Hengst/


“Japan’s ‘Cyberdyne’ robot suit ready for hospital”
Agence France-Presse, October 8, 2008

3 thoughts on “Giant Robot from Japan? Not *Quite* Yet

  1. HAL?!??! HAL??! Does this suit suffocate them as well. I would have grave doubts about getting inside of anything robotic called HAL,call me paranoid, say I have watched 2001 too many times but I just wouldn’t do it. Where is Yoshimi when we need her?

  2. Hey Tim want to get real paranoid. The humans want us to be robots get it. Ha Ha. Frivolity aside. I think its marvelous what they are doing in robotics. I think of what robots right now are doing for us on Mars and the Moon. Just think of of what had to be put into doing that. It is absolutely utterly amazing. Progression of human life outside this planet depends on robots. I wish every engineer good luck. Think future.

  3. a bunch of hot air. why bother to build mechanical slaves for big bucks when one can get a human for 8/hr. Ask McDonalds, Starbucks, etc. It would be a good idea to replace the freemasons and bad witches (Bill and Hillary) with robots, who can understand a prime directive. The movie The Day The Earth Stood Still had so much to say about why we humans will fail and there is no indication forty years later after that movie that we as people are changing our destructive ways. Maybe one day the Herbert Walker and George Walkers of the world will finally understand that this planet is not ours and will never be. The chinese already have a working exoskeleton that can pick up several hundred pounds of rice bags per load.
    Look at how the old, the disabled, the young and the non-elite are treated. Spare me the bullshit and look in your own mirror. We take too many things for granted.