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Japan Robotics Hardware

New HAL Exoskeleton: A Brain-Controlled Full Body Suit To Be Used In Fukushima 111

An anonymous reader writes "Cyberdyne announced today an improved version of the HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb) robotic exoskeleton at the Japan Robot Show. From the article: 'he latest version of the HAL has remained brain-controlled but evolved to a full body robot suit that protects against heavy radiation without feeling the weight of the suit. Eventually it could be used by workers dismantling the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant."
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New HAL Exoskeleton: A Brain-Controlled Full Body Suit To Be Used In Fukushima

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:12PM (#41701181)

    I'm afraid I can't do that Dave.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Guys...can you come over?... I need some help to get this thing off my c**k.

  • by MrQuacker ( 1938262 ) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:13PM (#41701187)

    Yeah, this will end well.

    • by JWSmythe ( 446288 ) <> on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:32PM (#41701309) Homepage Journal

          Cyberdyne, the fictional creator of Skynet, which made the fictional Terminator, bears the same name as Cyberdyne, the real company, who just released a fully functional brain operated exeoskeleton robot?

          Or that they made a possibly-autonomous robot named HAL, the same as the fictional computer which had a bad habit of killing people?

          Include Cybermen and/or Daleks, and we're one brain-snatching away from three different sci-fi universes colliding with reality.

          That may not be all that bad, as long as a guy with a blue box that's larger on the inside than the outside, shows up to give me a ride off of this rock. ... and just remember, only 63 more shopping days until doomsday.

      • by Cryacin ( 657549 )
        Reminds me of the Y-17 trauma override harness from the Fallout New Vegas Big MT expansion pack... []
        • E=MC^2, baby.. Those suits could have very well been real.

          Then one discovers they are pure energy. And whammo. They start spinning in a colossal loop (go watch Looper for instructions for how this works), and next thing ya know... Science proves magic exists - by stating explicitly that electricity is the constituent of all matter, source code is the governing devices of all construction, physics is the engine, and reality as it exists is nothing more than an 'agreed on conclusion' by those with any sentien

      • Include Cybermen and/or Daleks, and we're one brain-snatching away from three different sci-fi universes colliding with reality.

        Right idea but wrong Sci-Fi universe: they are going to be sending it to a nuclear power plant in Japan which seems to be how half of the Godzilla movies start...

      • Where the luddists when we need them?
      • Include Cybermen and/or Daleks, and we're one brain-snatching away from three different sci-fi universes colliding with reality.

        It hasn't started raining Daleks yet, but does Betelgeuse throwing fireballs at us this weekend [] count?

      • by Genda ( 560240 )

        You missed the obvious allusions to The Guyver and Ripley's Personal Forklift from Aliens... clearly these guys are out to stitch as many movie cliches together into a single event as is humanly possible. Maybe they can add a proton beam for ghost Busting!

      • by aliquis ( 678370 )

        I don't know about you but there's a bulldozer outside.

      • I'm beginning to suspect that some science fiction authors stumbled upon a time machine and have been warning us about the future they saw by writing "fictional" stories about it.

      • The lead designer is John Bigboote.

        •     Oh no! Crossover from a 4th fictional universe, in the 8th dimension? It's a sure sign of the end of times! :)

    • If we know Cyberdyne's HAL will be up to no good, our only hope is the trademark Lawyers. But the only way to know what it will do in the future is to create a time machine and find out. But in so doing, we open up the chance for HAL coming back in time before the respective movies were made and trademarking the terms itself, thus immunizing it from legal action!
      • Already invented the time machine, went forward, didnt end up well, Terminator wars all over the place, went on to massive contamination of the atmosphere due to air pollution since there were so many robots out there that didnt have to breathe they didnt care, then they created the matrix to re-evolve humans when i ded (too many times to count, we're goin on 50 trillion years here), but the good news is. It all started in Los Angeles, where the Angels 'won the war versus heaven and hell'.. they really didn

        • Dude, I don't know what are you taking, but I want one of these also!
        • by Genda ( 560240 )

          In your case, I would suggest the BLUE pill. Oh, and I'm glad to hear your making progress with that ADHD thing... yeeooowww

    • by guttentag ( 313541 ) on Friday October 19, 2012 @12:24AM (#41701871) Journal
      On purpose. Apparently the company [] was founded in 2004 and named after the fictional company [] from the Terminator franchise. Since they're going after the publicity, they should open a satellite office at 47131 Bayside Parkway, Fremont CA [], the real-life location of the company's offices. And keep an out-of-service SWAT van in the parking lot.
      • ...and being a Japanese company I do fully expect that suit to have a world class sanitary solution.
        None of this tube and plastic bag nonesense.

        I'm sorry, Dave. I can't do that. I'm a bidet, you know.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:17PM (#41701207)

    Here's your Mark 1 HEV suit Gordon

  • by siddesu ( 698447 ) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:17PM (#41701215)
    Why not put a well-shielded controller instead and have the people control it remotely from a safe location? Well, it is Japan, the land of the weird ideas.
    • How would you control it? Wireless would be a problem, as radiation tends to play bloody havoc with radio signals, and a cable, while possible, would offer a lot of technical challenges, reducing movement ability and whatnot. And radiation could still be a problem, you'd have to shield the cable as well, and of course make up an interface with feedback and precise control to move around. Do-able, but not easy.

      Powersuit's are simply a lot easier and more versatile all around.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by siddesu ( 698447 )
        The same way TEPCO controlled the third-party workers, who were told not to wear radiation badges -- via optical fiber from Tokyo, of course. As for versatile, yeah, humans are not only more versatile, they are also a lot cheaper. Why invest in capable robots at all?
      • > radiation tends to play bloody havoc with radio signals

        Could you provide more details about how that works? I'm surprised, because gamma radiation has a very different wavelength to radio signals, and alpha and beta particles are different things altogether.

        Radio signals are used all the time in the relatively radiation-filled environment of outer space, too.

        • If you look at the images we got from robots inside the reactor building, and the amount of static on them because of the radiation, I think it's safe to say that there's some kind of negative influence, be it in the electronics or in the actual transmission.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            That's the radiation messing with the CCD, not the radio transmission.

      • Fiber optic data cables don't require or benefit from radiation shielding. For heavy work you're dragging a power cable anyway, so why not embed a dozen 40Gbps strands in it? If you want to use wireless data to control the recon machine, this is not a problem either, as in the human-free zone inside a melted down nuclear reactor you are free to use transmitter power sufficient enough to overcome the noise. The noise in there is hellish but overcoming that problem is easier than finding radiation hardened

    • Why not put a well-shielded controller instead and have the people control it remotely from a safe location? Well, it is Japan, the land of the weird ideas.

      And risk ruining a perfectly good robot?

      • You're right, putting a human inside of the robot is better. After all, he will be much more inclined to do anything possible to bring his personal enclosure back home safely than someone in a cozy office would for a remote controlled robot.

  • Uh oh... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:22PM (#41701239)

    I hope they solved the icing problem that plagued a certain other robotic exoskeleton.

    Otherwise, HAL might freeze over.

  • I am not an expert on radiation by any means.... but... the head, legs and arms (and the crotch when walking) look awfully exposed to me. Or does white cloth reflect radiation?

    Yes, I do know that nurses were aprons made of lead and are not fully encases in a lead lining but they are dealing with a small radiation source coming from a single spot. Anyone going into a reactor would be dealing with radiation coming from everywhere, constantly, for a long time. So the lead shield banging into your balls protect

    • "I am not an expert on radiation by any means...."

      Looks like you pre-answered you're own questions.

      For clarity though we'll all just assume that the photo op at a Robot Expo wasn't an example of how the system would be used at Fukushima, site of a nuclear reactor meltdown.

    • >>> I am not an expert on radiation by any means....

      Then you should work for Tepco or the Japanese governement... your seems to have the same skillset...

      With maybe too much common sense...

      The japanese refused the help from the French when they offered to send their nuclear disaster radiation hardened robots...
      (Because, YES radiation is pounding on electronic, but shielding a robot is not rocket surgery, at least when you prepare for the problem before it happens when you have time to develop, test

    • heh... reminded me of the scene in Family Guy...
      "Not so fast! There is a shield the exact size and shape of a bullet somewhere about my person -" ::BANG!:: "- Well played, worthy adversary. Well played..."

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      faster worktime, fewer people, less exposure.

    • This is a Late reply I know... but I wanted to directly give you and any subsequent readers with similar questions, the proper answer.

      NBC Suits [] are designed to protect against exposure to contaminants. These are designed to prevent liquid contaminants from skin contact, airborne gasses, liquid aerosols, and physical particulate aerosols (think airborne dust) contaminants from being inhaled, and lastly provide a protective barrier from contact against any dangerous physical material that must be handled.


  • Didn't we go over this already... like, in the 80s ?

  • This xenomorph fight is starting to tire me out.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Cyberdyne, HAL, Fukushima - what could possible go wrong?

  • Starship Troopers and the Mobile Infantry - here we come. Now all we need are better suits, pocket atomic hand-grenades, a one-world corporate-government, and an alien race to fight against.
    • We have all that now.

    • In the book, IIRC, the bugs, unintelligent, only created brain bug caste types in special cases, when they had a problem, and in an evolutionary sense, the brain bug magically solved it.

      See also the engineer caste from the Mote in God's Eye, which sat idly by applying it's genuis at the beck and call and instrction of the political caste. Or Atlas Shrugged, for that matter, which also pointed out engineers putting their society-driving intelligence to be subservient to the political class.

      All wonderful sar

  • Then we have a problem.
  • The Japanese can militarize this technology by creating a Mobile Suit Gundam!
    • You mean to say that the Agriculture Ministry is not in charge of Gundam already? But...
      • I'm feeling sheepish, I was thinking of Rice Farming.
      • by Thud457 ( 234763 )
        watch it there buddy, we're circling around awful close to the meme singularity.
        That's when google finally becomes sentient and a large portion of it's knowledge of the world comes from Encyclopedia Dramatica.
  • ...may benefit from this in the future.

    Imagine a brilliant super genious in an excoskeleton walking amongst us. ...oh wait!

  • The first thing that is wrong with this idea is that it is brain-controlled when the wearer is intended to be able-bodied. Only cripples need mind-controlled exoskeletons. The rest of us just need force feedback.

    The even bigger problem, though, is that they claim they need humans because robots can't hack the environment, but what is the exoskeleton going to be? A robot. So now you'll have a human at health risk inside a robot which may fail. Does that make any sense? No it doesn't. Build more modular robot

  • anytime Cyberdyne creates any sort of technology?

    Next up, HAL able to walk and work independantly.
    *2 years later*
    The HAL Union Soldiers just occupied all of Japan yesterday and appear to be setting up manufacturing hubs... more at '11.

  • Now...radioactive cyberzombies.

  • "Cyberdyne"? Come on, someone's fuckin' with you.

  • No signal:

    IIRC, this is one of the key techs needed for mechwar. Add in an implanted cell phone and "Resistance Is Futile"

  • now that "Labors" will be put into production.  Who else can stop a rampaging mecha ?
  • I believe that HAL was the creation of Aurthor C. Clarke, Stanley Kubrick had something to do with making a movie FROM the book.

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court