Sankai-san is back. Check out the latest demo of the HAL exoskeleton suit, invented by Yoshiyuki Sankai at the University of Tsukuba in Japan. Sankai is commercializing the suit through his company, Cyberdyne, which has recently demonstrated the system on the streets of Tokyo.
What the video doesn't show is that the suit uses bio-electrical sensors attached to the body to capture electromyogram signals on the skin and control the actuators. Cyberdyne claims that the suit can "multiply the original strength by a factor of 2 to 10."
Would that let people commute to work on foot without breaking a sweat?
For more on the technology behind the HAL suit, see this article on exoskeletons that my colleague Harry Goldstein and I wrote a while ago.
Erico Guizzo is the Director of Digital Innovation at IEEE Spectrum, and cofounder of the IEEE Robots Guide, an award-winning interactive site about robotics. He oversees the operation, integration, and new feature development for all digital properties and platforms, including the Spectrum website, newsletters, CMS, editorial workflow systems, and analytics and AI tools. An IEEE Member, he is an electrical engineer by training and has a master’s degree in science writing from MIT.