Japan robot firm showcases thought-controlled suits

Jun 18, 2014
An official of Kawasaki City demonstrates a new powered exoskeleton to assist movement of an arm developed by Japan's robot suit venture Cyberdyne during a press conference in Kawasaki, on June 18, 2014

A Japanese robot-maker on Wednesday showed off suits that the wearer can control just by thinking, as it said it was linking up with an industrial city promoting innovation.

Cyberdyne founder Yoshiyuki Sankai said he was allying with Kawasaki, a city south of Tokyo, to explore ways to expand real-life applications for his robo-suits, which are often used for .

"We want to make technology that actually helps people," Sankai, who is also a professor of engineering at the University of Tsukuba, northeast of Tokyo, said.

Cyberdyne, based in Tsukuba, makes power-assisted robotic suits, limbs and joints that can help the elderly and disabled to get around or can help industrial workers to lift heavy objects.

The machines detect weak electrical pulses that run through the skin when the wearer's brain sends the message to the limb to move.

The robot then moves exactly in concert with the natural limb, but provides much more power than it could exert on its own.

"We don't want people to see individuals wearing our products and think 'Gee, it must be so hard (to live with ailments)'," Sankai said.

"Rather, we want people to see the robot and say, 'Wow, that's fantastic'," he said.

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dougie_fresh_007
not rated yet Jun 19, 2014
as a quadriplegic, these devices are interesting but only useful to people with atrophied muscles and the like. People in mt condition cant send the signal to the muscles to begin with. These are definitely great for aging populations and strenuous long term activities but i still would like to see a neural sensor and the ability to also activate [stimulate ]the proper muscle systems