posted on Aug, 23 2003 @ 12:32 PM
Japan ready to market "robot suit"
Thu Aug 21, 4:40 AM ET
TOKYO (AFP) - Japanese companies are preparing for the commercial launch of a "robot suit" that helps aged or physically disabled people walk, get
up the stairs or seat themselves to relax without a chair.
Trading house Mitsui and Co. and some 30 other Tokyo firms plan to set up a joint-venture in April or May next year to market the powered suit
developed by Yoshiyuki Sankai, professor and engineer at Tsukuba University, officials said Thursday.
"This is neither a robot in machine factories nor a one for amusement like a pet robot. This is a brand-new proposal projecting a future image of
relations between people and robots," Sankai said.
"The suit practically supports people's life, focusing on the strong point of robots," Sankai said.
The powered suit, code-named HAL-3 (Hybrid Assistive Leg), consists of a computer and batteries in the backpack as well as four actuators attached
around the knees and hip joints.
[Edited on 23-8-2003 by quaneeri]