Move over HULC, the “Hybrid Assistive Limb” suit is coming from the East, and these exoskeletons are for the public.
First demonstrated back in 2007, the HAL suit from Cyberdyne, can increase your strength by up to ten times.
As the website explains: “When a person attempts to move, nerve signals are sent from the brain to the muscles via motoneuron, moving the musculoskeletal system as a consequence. At this moment, very weak biosignals can be detected on the surface of the skin. HAL catches these signals through a sensor attached on the skin of the wearer. Based on the signals obtained, the power unit is controlled to wearer’s daily activities.”
In essence, speedy body makes speedy exoskeleton.
The power unit isn’t as long lasting as the HULCs though, only providing 5 hours use between recharges, but there is talk of an EU site opening up to produce them.
Even the price doesn’t seem too steep, at a mere $4,200 a pop, but only 400 will be made annually.
While there may be boyish dreams of Iron Man/Batman fantasies from some of us, the exoskeleton also can help disaster rescue teams, heavy industrial jobs, and people with movement disabilities.
That company name sure sounds familiar, though.