A new robot suit called HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb)

A Japanese company , Cyberdine , designed a robot suit called 'Robot Suit HAL' that can expand and improve physical capability. The 22 pound (10 kg) HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb) is equipped with sensors that read brain signals directing limb movement through the skin.

HAL is expected to be applied in various fields such as rehabilitation support and physical training support in medical field, ADL support for disabled people, heavy labour support at factories, and rescue support at disaster sites, as well as in the entertainment field.

HAL-5 Type-B Speficications:

Size - wearable robot , Height 1,600mm

Weight - Full Body Type approx. 23kg , (Lower body approx. 15kg)

Power - Battery Drive , Charged battery( AC100V)

Continuous operating time - Approximately 2 hours 40 minutes

Motions - Daily Activities( standing up from a chair, walking, climbing up and down stairs) Hold and lift heavy objects and more...

Operation - Hybrid Control System

Working Environment - Indoor and outdoor

Cybernic Voluntary Control( Bio-Cybernic Control System)

When a person attempts to walk, for instance, the brain sends electrical impulses to muscles. when they arrive at muscles, faint bio-electrical signals appear on skin surfaces. "HAL"'s system works as described below.

1. the bio-electrical sensors attached to the skin read the signals
2. the computer immediately analyzes how much power the wearer intends to generate

3. calculates the adequate amount of power assist and command power units
4. power units generate torque and put limbs into action.

These process is completed a fraction of a second earlier than the muscles actually move.

Robotic Autonomous Control System

A human motion ( for example standing up from a chair ) can be recognized as an aggregate of several elemental movements.

It looks as if a sentence consists of several words. "HAL" has the data base where such movements are stored and linked to a certain motion as a dictionary lists words.
Using the data base( which is also automatically updated by the informations that sensors collect from the body) "HAL" autonomously coordinate each motion to be assisted smoothly by power units.

Furthermore, in the case that no good bio-electrical signals are detectable due to some problems in the central nervous system or in the muscles, "HAL" can be of use through the Robotic Autonomous Control.

Further info at Cyberdine



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