Japanese company Cyberdyne has received CE Marking in Europe to begin clinical trials of its HAL robotic exoskeleton, according to the NIKKEI news agency. We’ve been following HAL for a few years now (see flashbacks below), and it’s exciting to see that it will soon serve as a medical device in Europe. There are a few hundred HALs used in Japan’s rehab centers and available for lease or to purchase, and Cyberdyne will supply about a dozen of the devices to Bergmannsheil, a German hospital group, to use in a rehab study of 100 patients.
HAL has the potential to help patients post stroke or with other debilitating conditions to walk, climb stairs, and perform tasks that their otherwise weak legs would have trouble with. HAL can run in an automatic mode, moving on its own, or in a more controlled mode that’s more responsive to the way the user wants to run it. The battery may last close to three hours, depending on utilization, which should be sufficient since it is currently envisioned for use in rehab facilities and not to be taken home for daily use.
Flashbacks: The Latest on Cyberdyne’s Exoskeleton Technology; Cyberdyne, Developers of Terminator, Show Off Robotic Legs at Consumer Electronics Show; HAL, The One That Walks, Goes on Sale; HAL Powered Exoskeleton to Help Cleanup Fukushima Post Meltdown (VIDEO)