The HAL two-leg exoskeleton is now available for rent in Tokyo for $2300 per month. We saw the HAL in our power suit roundup from last year. There is footage of this lower-extremity suit demonstrated by three people. The video is a bit creepy because the they are apparently just out for a stroll in the city.
We really do want to see this succeed. Every time another advancement in exoskeletons comes around we glimpse the future of mobility and freedom for victims of paralysis. The machine is controlled via an interface that picks up electrical impulses on the surface of the skin. The built in battery provides power for up to five hours of operation before recharging is necessary.
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.
Researchers at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology have been demoing a new power suit. It’s intended to be used by people hand harvesting in the farm industry. The 55 pound device supports the worker’s joints as they squat and reach. Within three years, they hope to have the cost within $10K. We’ve seen quite a few power suit devices this year, but research has been going on for many years, as you can see in our power suit roundup.
We spent our Halloween dressed as an irate traveler as we flew cross country, but it looks like a lot of people were having much more fun. [flaming_pele!]’s Aliens power loader is one of the best costumes we’ve seen yet. He built it by referencing a 1/12th model kit and a lot of photos. The final costume is about 80% full size which gets it under their 8 foot ceilings. There’s a video of the suit embedded below. Our love of power suits was documented fairly well in our roundup post this summer. Make found two other related costumes: a Star Wars AT-ST and a generic mech constructed from packing foam. Did any of you dress as something truly nerdy for Halloween? Continue reading “A Very Power Suit Halloween”