The United States Federal Department of Agriculture, more commonly known as the FDA, has recently approved a robotic exoskeleton by a Japanese robotics company that supposedly has the ability to augment your strength. Cyberdyne, the Japanese company who has designed this robot now has the green light to make and release a medical version of their lower-body exoskeleton, referred to as the Hybrid Assisted Limb or HAL. At the very moment, it is available solely in the United States, but if the product gets the success it deserves, and helps as many people that are in need, then it’s only a matter of time until this technology spreads across the globe and becomes revolutionary.
The current plan is for the robotic exoskeleton is to be available solely for the use of medical facilities. You’re most likely wondering how exactly does this technology work. It uses sensors which detect bio electric signals that are sent from your brain to your muscles. It pairs these bio electric signals with your both your movement or your intended movement with the aim of helping you increase both your stability and strength. The medically approved version of the HAL is referred to as HAL for medical use and was created mainly for those who suffer from lower limb disabilities. This robotic exoskeleton can help restore mobility, and therefore, independence for those who have not be able to do so due to their disability.
HAL is not the only one of it’s kind, there are many other exoskeleton technologies. So what makes HAL unique and stand out from other available exoskeleton technologies? Rather than using physical walking motions as most other similar technologies do, HAL uses both autonomous functionality and voluntary moment. In more simple words, this special technology uses the bio electric signals of the nervous system of the person wearing the exoskeleton in order to know how and when to move.
It has been shown that the medical version of HAL is very beneficial for those with lower-limb disabilities. Many lower-limb disabilities involve an aspect of a a disconnect between what the person intends to move (the messages that their brain sends) and the muscle movements that are actually carried out. In many cases, the intended muscle movement is not even carried out unfortunately. The exoskeleton while worn supports itself, which is advantageous in that there is no added stress or weight for the person wearing it, since many people cannot physically carry any excess weight. The debut of HAL in the U.S will come about within the next few months at a cybernetic treatment center that is being planned to open in Jacksonville, Florida. At the moment, however, only the medical version of HAL will be available. Perhaps in the near future the non-medical version of the HAL will be approved by the FDA in the United States could become an available item to everyone. Keep your ears open if you’re looking for some added strength.