Sunday, August 06, 2006

Exoskeleton Assists Swiss Peak Ascent

In a dramatic demonstration of the super-human feats that can be accomplished with HAL, the robot exoskeleton, mountain climbers will carry disabled men to the 4164 meter (13,741 feet) Alpine summit of Breithorn in Switzerland.

HAL stands for 'Hybrid Assistive Limb'. It is marketed by Cyberdyne Inc. of Japan. Cyberdyne is a company founded to commercialize inventions from the Cybernics labs of Dr. Yoshiyuki Sankai at the University of Tsukuba.
[This is no relation to Cyberdyne Systems which reverse-engineered the arm from Terminator to create an army of robots who turn on humans to cause the fall of civilization and movie sequels T2 and T3 and a rumored T4 which will not star a robot Arnold.]

A person wearing HAL can double their lifting strength. Experienced mountain climber Ken Noguchi will carry a man paralyzed from the neck down. Another mountaineer will carry a 16 year old student stricken with muscular dystrophy. The climbers would not be able to carry the men without the assist of the HAL exoskeleton.

HAL was invented to help improve the capabilities of weakened elderly.
The climb will be to inspire others to see the potential benefits of the HAL suit as well as fulfill the dreams of the disabled participants.

Japanese quadriplegic to begin attempt robot-assisted ascent of Swiss mountain

US' DARPA also has a exoskeleton but for soldiers.


Blogger Bob Mottram said...

There's a huge market for any automated device which can assist with walking, but its neither mountineers nor even the military who will be the main beneficiaries. If devices like this can be made cheaply enough I think they'll rapidly come into widespread use by the elderly.

3:11 PM, August 07, 2006  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home