Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Exoskeleton Amplifies Movements

With an incredibly sleek design the HAL-5 prototype exoskeleton may be just thing for those wanting to strike out on there career as superheros or technovillains.

Even thought you might expect response to be slow, the system use bioelectric sensors which can detect and trigger the motors faster than your own nervous and muscular systems. The system also learns the user's movement patterns allowing it to anticipate and follow the user's expectations even more closely.

The upper body system allows the user to lift 40kg, 88lbs, more than they typically would be able to.

At 33lbs the system includes all the batteries, motors and electronics needed. But you're not lugging around a lot of weight. "It's like riding on a robot, rather than wearing one," according to Yoshiyuki Sankai of the University of Tsukuba who has been working to realize the suit for ten years.

According to New Scientist, a version of the suit may be available for sale in Japan by the end of the year costing in the range of $14,000 to $19,000.