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Cyberdyne's HAL suit goes into mass production this year. It will increase the users strength by as much as tenfold. Approximately 400 units will be produced by the next year.  (Source: Cyberdyne Corp.)
Dreams of real life robocops will be brought to life with new Japanese invention

What's blue and white and has the strength of superhero?  The answer, will soon be a human sporting a Cyberdyne Corporation suit. While the name of this Japanese firm, taken from the evil corporation in the movie Terminator, may make some a bit uneasy, its hard to fault its dream -- bringing to life the dreams of mech suits that military and fictional minds have had for decades.

Cyberdyne has partnered with Daiwa House to finally bring its HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb) suit into mass production.  The company plans on offering 400 of the units, which are expected to be in short supply, to private and government buyers, at a cost of $4,200 for the suit.

The suit is truly revolutionary in that its the first publicly offered suit to increase the strength of both arms and legs to superhuman levels -- over ten times the strength of an average human.  The suit has special pads which attach to muscles and detect electrical signals form the brain.  As the muscle moves, so does the suit, augmenting the power of movements.  Special care is taken to respect the range of motion and not go too fast, so as not to damage delicate tendons, ligaments, and bones.

In short, the new suit allows an average human to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks.  Cyberdyne describes its revolutionary product, stating:
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.
Demand for the new suit is expected to be huge.  From disaster relief and industrial construction, to military applications, there are many potential uses.  Perhaps the most valuable one is that the suit will allow the elderly or disabled to perform activities that they previously could not, by granting them normal strength and then some.

While the HAL suit is certainly impressive, it's even more fun to dream about what can come next.  With so much promise from the first model alone, it should be great to see what future models can accomplish -- longer autonomous battery life, more power, and possibly upgrades for military applications.  The HAL is one of those kinds of inventions that reminds you that the future is here, and is knocking on your door.

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RE: I'm old fashioned
By Motoman on 4/10/2009 4:13:13 PM , Rating: 5
...they also get rid of those unsightly testicles and conveniently make it impossible for you to reproduce! Yay!

RE: I'm old fashioned
By quiksilvr on 4/10/2009 4:39:40 PM , Rating: 5
Don't forget your penis, it takes care of that too! High five for impotence!

RE: I'm old fashioned
By Mathos on 4/10/2009 9:27:43 PM , Rating: 5
Gotta add to this....Don't forget since your heart is a muscle that is constantly working it also causes the heart enlarge to a point where the oxygen supply in the cardiovascular system can't support it anymore. So it's all fun and games, and then you die.!!

RE: I'm old fashioned
By TA152H on 4/10/2009 11:41:44 PM , Rating: 5
That's a fallacy.

SOME steroids are aromatized to estrogen, which shuts down indigenous testosterone production. Estrogen regulates testosterone production, since if you have a lot of testosterone, you have a lot of estrogen, and that's how your body knows how much is enough.

But, not all steroids are aromatized to estrogen, and consequently, do not have this effect at all.

Your remark about being impossible to reproduce is uninformed. Steroids do no damage to your testicles, but those that elevate estrogen will reduce or eliminate indigenous testosterone production. However, if you stop taking them, eventually your estrogen levels will go down, and you'll start producing your own testosterone again. And, if you want kids, then, you can have them. Of course, you could have taken steroids that did not have this effect in the first place if this was a priority, but in any case, this type of issue is only temporary.

But, there are some other issues from high estrogen levels that are far more problematic, and some are not so easily reversed. Gynecomastia is really so foul, and it doesn't go away when you stop taking the steroids. There are ways to block it with other substances when taking steroids, basically by blocking the estrogen receptors, but once they are there, you'd need surgery to reverse it.

RE: I'm old fashioned
By feraltoad on 4/11/2009 2:22:44 AM , Rating: 2
If it doesn't give me bitch tits, then I don't want it.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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