NIPPONIA No. 38 September 15, 2006


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Living with Robots

Japan's robot technology is setting the global standard. The writer of this article is one of the leaders of robot development in Japan, and his robot suit, HAL, is making headlines worldwide. His insights give us a hint about how companies and researchers here see the future of robots.

HAL-5A (left) and HAL-5B (right,photo credit: Takano Akira). The battery and control unit are mounted behind the waist on the back, and each joint is equipped with a power unit. Structural parts are made of a light, strong plastic. In the photo on right, HAL helps the wearer lift a 15-kg container of water easily with one arm. HAL-5B is an improved, more rugged version, and was used during the summer of 2006 to carry a person with physical disabilities up a mountain in Switzerland.