Exclusive: U.S. Military Wants Japanese Robot Exoskeletons
January 8, 2011 4:40 AM
comment(s) - last by
Cyberdyne's exoskeleton was fully operation at a press event at CES 2011 on Friday morning.
The skeleton's balance is controlled by complex algorithms, which identify and adjust for the "driver's" center of mass.
HAL suit could see action on and off the battlefield
2011 Consumer Electronics Show
this morning, an array of Japanese companies showed off a bold vision of the future. Among them was Cyberdyne Inc.,
makers of the HAL
(hybrid assistive limb) robotic exoskeleton.
According to Cyberdyne, there are currently 160 HAL suits
deployed in Japan
. Most are deployed in hospitals, helping the elderly and partially paralyzed to walk again.
Kenichi Ichihara, mayor of Tsukaba City, Japan, states, "The technology you see with HAL has a lot of meaning for us, as Japan is rapidly aging. We are the most rapidly aging country in the world."
Tsukaba City, located northeast of Tokyo, is heralded as the robotics capital of Japan. The HAL suit is one of its star products.
According to Takatoshi Kuno, Cyberdyne's sales division manager, the legs part of the suit only weighs 10 kg (~22 kg) and is essentially self-supporting. It is capable of walking at speeds of up to 6 km/hr (~3.7 mph) and has a battery life of 1.5 hours. The suit taps into nerve impulses to create a natural brain-commanded walking motion. The suit uses high-strength stepper servomotors and uses computer hardware to maintain balance when standing, walking, or climbing with the suit.
Perhaps the most intriguing detail shared with us was Mr. Kuno's statement that the U.S. government had contacted the company and expressed interest in purchasing HAL suits. He said the military primarily was hoping to use the suits in a medical capacity (e.g. for rehabilitating or providing increased mobility to injured soldiers).
Mr. Kuno wouldn't comment on the possibility of weaponization of the suit, which thus far has been used primarily for peaceful medical purchases. A couple of U.S. firms, including
Raytheon and Lockheed Martin
have been contracted by the U.S. government to produce exoskeleton prototypes.
While the possibility of carrying heavy weaponry or shielding of some type (e.g. shatter-proof glass, metal, etc.) in-battle has not been mentioned by these contractors, it surely is under consideration. These contractors have explicitly mentioned battlefield deployment, though, for purposes such as carrying munitions.
Since their products are attached to humans, Cyberdyne and its affiliates are very cognizant of risks and safety. States Mayor Ichihara, "Safety is very important. We can't have accidents or mistakes."
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: The Future
1/8/2011 2:03:54 PM
Sure!. Imagine your 90 year old grandma lifting up your car so you can change the oil filter or a tire. Impressive!!!!
RE: The Future
1/9/2011 3:35:46 AM
Imagine that same 90 year old grandma chasing you with a switch cause you misbehaved... THAT is a scary thought, anger of the elderly and the strength of a robot!
RE: The Future
1/10/2011 9:08:41 AM
What's she gonna do with a switch?
"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
Notes From CES: B-2 Bombers, USB 3.0, Coda, and Speedy SSDs
January 7, 2011, 1:16 AM
New Military Grade Exoskeleton Can Lift 200 lbs, March 12 Miles
October 26, 2010, 10:41 AM
HAL Mech Suit Hits Production, To Increase Human Strength Tenfold
April 10, 2009, 3:40 PM
Cyberdyne Corp Makes HAL "Iron Man" Suit
October 27, 2008, 10:34 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Cool Science Video: This is What a McDonald's Burger Looks Like in Your Stomach
April 7, 2015, 1:43 PM
Fraud Artist Engineered Stunning UK Jailbreak Via Typosquatting, Email
April 4, 2015, 2:57 PM
Food Chemists at Italy's Barilla Claim to Have Perfect Instant Noodles w/out Frying
March 26, 2015, 4:25 PM
Half a Billion Dollars of U.S. Weaponry May be Lost to al-Qaeda, Rebels in Yemen
March 23, 2015, 2:12 PM
Most Popular Articles
Windows 10 Build 10056 -- What's New in the Latest Leak
April 13, 2015, 10:38 PM
TSMC Hypes Its Upcoming 10 nm Process, Amid Struggles to Hit Volume at 16 nm
April 10, 2015, 7:57 PM
Sharp Unveils World's First "4K" Phone Display at Mind-Boggling 806 PPI
April 13, 2015, 11:24 AM
Tech's Biggest Loser on Tax Day: eBay Pays Nearly 99 Percent Tax Rate
April 15, 2015, 3:28 PM
In California Hippies, Religious Right Find Common Enemy in Vaccine Science
April 9, 2015, 4:42 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information