HAL Suit Going Into Production


When we compiled our list of real life power suits last May, the HAL suit was being pitched as a $1000 a month rental. Cyberdyne has changed their tune for the better recently. Teports suggest that the first 400 unit run of powered exoskeletons will sell for $4200, less than a Segway. The suit can increase the wearer’s strength ten-fold and will run continuously for nearly three hours.

[via Engadget]

53 thoughts on “HAL Suit Going Into Production

  1. what we need ideally is for it to be slightly harder to use the suit then normal everyday stuff, this way you slowly build up your own muscles plus you can lift car(s) and stuff.

  2. Does the price tag include the bits that have to be fitted to your specific dimensions, or is it a one-size-fits-all dealie?

    First thing I’m doing is disconnecting all those LEDs and spraying it black.

  3. cynic

    I thought that was just a given. No goofy lights wasting power, a paint job that doesn’t look like it should be running around the Aperture test facility (portal joke).

  4. From the source article:

    “very weak biosignals can be detected on the surface of the skin. HAL catches these signals through a sensor attached on the skin of the wearer.”

    Am I really the first person to ask what happens if the suit simply gets interference of some sort? A bad connection to the skin?

    I sure hope they didn’t make any of the joints bend past the limits of a human body, or else the first time the adhesive pads slip off, your knees are bending BACKWARDS.

  5. if i get one of these, im SERIUSLY going to write my own firmware for it,
    lol just waiting for them to wait for everyone to get one, then decide to put them into remote control mode and send us all off to a battlefeild :P

    sorry if im paranoid, but also the fact of me writing my own firmware is i’d be able to do more things with it

  6. I’m worried that this thing may break bones, ours can only support so much. The backbone (lol) of vertebrate motion relies on something solid to put a force against; bones.

    Our bones match our muscle capability.

  7. Speculators:
    I doubt they would sell a product which claims to do so much as this one does with out setting reasonable limits and limitations as well as fully testing it’s safety.

    “It’s the wrong trousers, Grommet!”

  8. Couple points here that bug me:

    – $4200 per unit, 400 units per year

    Who wants to bet they’re sold out for a year or two already?

    – Tenfold increase in strength

    I’m 6’9″ and 280 lbs. I’m willing to bet I won’t be able to lift anywhere near 10x my base strength with this suit on (that is, if it even fits…)

    – drive based on “very weak biosignals”

    Skin-level sensors used in artificial limbs are inaccurate, slow and faulty at the best of times. I can’t imagine how much more dangerous that ill-researched and poorly implemented technology will be with a few hundred pounds of force behind it. Even if it were a ‘direct’ neural interface through a nerve mounted chip I wouldn’t trust the feedback.

    Frankly, this looks like a weak attempt to drum up interest with the mech fanboys…Maybe enough in profits to get a real project going. Sarcos XOS anyone?

  9. @louis II: yeah, why would they sell anything that could easily surpass the armed forces? :D I mean, like, I could rob a bank for just under $5000 including power tools, IF I need them? :D Nah, I don’t think so. :>

    @jack: someone HAD to say it… now the only person we need is the one that says: “it couldn’t possibly get any worse”. :DDDD

  10. What a bunch of geeks. War, world domination. No one has taken it to the lowest denominator of bathroom humor! Does the wearer need an astronaut size diaper? No worries about bathroom accidents? (“Something about Mary” x 10 Ow!) What about being with your sex partner and running out of juice and having to be charged up by the geek squad? Stop taking yourself so seriously!

  11. I think it would be pretty tough to use one of these to control someone. It looks like if any of the limbs do something different than the wearer’s, it’s just going to fall off. Since it relies on human input to function, it would be useless dead hardware laying on the ground.

    And dubmuffin has a good point, I’m sure these are already sold out for the next couple of years unless 4-500 is just their number for the first year. I guess you could say that by the time average people will be able to buy one (I’m pretty sure that the people who physically need this to stand get bumped to the front of the line), they might improve it.

    It’s a great idea and I want one, but I think it should go through a couple model generations before we all jump on it.

  12. The Hal suit which will be put into production first will be the half suit (lower body) to aid those with lifting, the elderly etc. they dont move with great speed so a nerd would be hard pushed to win unless he is against a bully who cannot side step a slow moving kick :P, The leds actually serve a purpose ROFL definantly not meant for Xbox 360 halo fan boys

  13. Yeah ites primary aim in its design notes is to aid people with tasks such as heavy lifting (barrels, engines etc) and to aid people who would normally have a hard time using their limbs. I have been wondering though how it would work on someone with Narcolepsy *_* it knows what musles are doing and imitates them…If it imitates someone going limp it would probably crush them?! anyone found if it has safeties applied to solve issues like this?

  14. Hey, I’m going to wait for the later generations. This is awesome, but I want to be agile enough to run alongside cars, jump over houses, and do one-handed handstand pushups with Magnús Scheving.

  15. That’s pretty damn cheap. Now all we need to do is get rid of the current battery and add in a fuel cell instead. Then we can add in BERP aroumer and a kick arse helmet that automatically translates voice for you. And we are on the way to Air Battle Force.

  16. OLD!

    I don’t see any new news in that article.
    Cyberdyne has been collecting investment capital for years now, but I’ve never seen any shows featuring equipment with their name on it. The experimental platforms are slow, unwieldly, and look more like college robotics projects than sci-fi forklifts. I call vaporware! — See Moller SkyCar

    Regarding Terminator, battle suits, killbots, and the rise of electronic warfare: See iRobot. They make those cute little robot vaccuums. They also make honest-to-god military death machines. I once stepped into a small meeting room filled with officers, engineers, and several large mechanical lumpy things. The first entity in the room to make “eye contact” had a camera and a searchlight. (Picture a four-tracked drive platform resembling Johnny 5, topped by a large calibre turreted Gatling gun and an armored handycam.)

    I’m more worried about Furby and iPhones than ED209 and killer nanobots.

  17. @prophet zarquon

    Hey, lay off ed209! So what if it looked like an elecrtic razor with limbs. Everyone knows he would have kicked robocop’s ass if it weren’t for those damned stairs.

  18. Awesome, yeah, but I always find myself unwilling to part with the money; you may look cool now, but who’s gonna look cool when the terminator model comes out? :P

  19. It’s great that they increase the simple function of carrying an item by a certain percentage. However they don’t seem to address the issue of gripping something that heavy though. Great the suit can lift 500 pounds, but your fingers won’t.

  20. In truth this suit will be a killer if people with the wrong ideas get theyr hands on it. its not a toy. and cyberdyne have taken it too far. The warnings have been given to the human race. Terminator was a warning for those who havent seen it. We are going into an era of war and devestation. and now these companys want to make money by building tech witch will push people to fight each other. its goin to cause trouble in every way. we need to stop them.

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