Japan approves worldwide sale of robot exoskeletons

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Ever wondered how it feels like to wear a robotic suit on your daily walkabout? Japan, a country where robots rule (all right, I am saying that with extreme liberty. Robots do not “rule” there per se, but rather, the proliferation of robots in everyday life as well as culture is extremely well known), might soon help fuel an explosion of “robo mania” of sorts, by approving a new robot exoskeleton suit for a global rollout sometime down the road.

What you see above is a robot suit that is known as the “Hybrid Assistive Limb”, or rather, HAL for short, which has been specially developed to help and assist both the elderly and disabled to get around, and the mission to spread the wonders of HAL around the world has been aided by the receipt of its global safety certificate in Japan yesterday, which means a worldwide rollout is on the cards.

The Hybrid Assistive Limb comes across as a power-assisted pair of legs that were developed by Japanese robot manufacturer Cyberdyne (good thing it is not a company known as Skynet!), and Cyberdyne has quite a proven track record for robotic assistance tools, where they have come up with somewhat similar robot arms in the past, too.

A quality assurance body in Japan issued the certificate that was based on a draft version of an international safety standard where personal robots are concerned, and a full certificate for the finished product is tipped to be approved later The HAL holds the honor of being the first nursing-care robot that was certified under the draft standard, according to a ministry official. HAL is powered by batteries, where it is capable of detecting muscle impulses in order to anticipate and support the user’s body movements.

You cannot buy one off the shelf just yet though, as it remains on lease (some 330 of them) across 150 hospitals, welfare and other facilities in Japan since 2010, where it costs $1,950 thereabouts to rent a suit for the entire year.

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2 reviews or comments

Robert P. Moran Jr. Says: November 1, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Hello,
I am writing to find out more about the above “Robotic Suit!” Because I have had a form of “Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy” for at least the last Fourteen years or more! Since I wasn’t diagnosed until After I noticed that my Right Side Pictoral Muscle had CONCAVED on me OVERNIGHT back in July of 1999! and that’s when I went to a Doctor and from there on to testing! Anyway, I am interested in either Buying or Leasing one that I may use to Aid in my Walking! As I am still mobile, However walking UP! Any size incline takes alot of effort and cause my Hips & Calfs to fatigue quickly! I also have a great deal of trouble going up stairways as well! Therefore I feel that this Suit would be Most Helpful Throughout My Daily Life!
So Could you Please! Send me All The Available Information there is on This and Any Other Robotic Suits that They have Available!
Thank you! :-)
Sincerely The Rev. Robert P. Moran Jr.

Robert P. Moran Jr Says: April 29, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Hello Fellow Readers,
If anyone out there knows where I can find one of these exoskeleton’s or the other Robot Suit that’s also made in Japan called H.A.L.!
Please let me know!
Thank you! Sincerely The Rev.Robert P. moran Jr.

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