Robot suit for rent in Japan!!

Robotic suits named HAL, or “hybrid assistive limb,” are demonstrated during a press conference at the headquarters of Cyberdyne, a new company in Tsukuba, outside Tokyo, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008. HAL, that reads brain signals and helps people with mobility problems, will be available to rent in Japan for US$2,200 for both legs and $1,500 for a one leg a month starting Friday _ an invention that may have far-reaching benefits for the disabled and elderly.

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.Sankai, who has worked on robot suits since 1992 and is also Cyberdyne’s chief executive, said a full device that covers the entire body is also being designed, though it is unclear when it will be available commercially.HAL comes in three sizes — small, medium and large — and also has a one-leg version for a 150,000 yen, or $1,500, monthly rental fee.

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