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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Japanese robot professor visits Sweden


Today professor Yoshiyuki Sankai from Cybernetics Lab. at the University of Tsukuba, Japan, visited Stockholm to present his company Cyberdyne Inc. for representatives from Swedish Robotdalen and the Assistive Device Central, Hjälpmedelscentralen. Cyberdyne is know for it´s Robot Suit HAL, a cyborg-type robot that can expand and support human physical capabilities. When a person moves, nervous signals are sent from the brain to the muscles via motor neurons, causing movement of the musculoskeletal system. When this happens, HAL detects very weak bioelectric signals on the surface of the skin through sensors attached on the wearer of the robot suit. Based on the characteristics of these registered signals, a processing unit will drive HAL´s actuators to move in accordance with the wearer´s muscle movements, enabling the suit to support the wearer´s daily activities.


Infonaut has reported about HAL the first time from the robotexpo in Aichi 2005 and is focusing on critcal issue related to this kind of assistive, intelligent device that may become very important for rehabilitation and quality of live for people with physical disabilities in the future. Many medical, technical, economical, legal and socal questions have to be adressed before robot suits can be launched at the Europian market, but Sweden has a good chance to become a forerunner.

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