Starting in March, Cyberdyne's robot HAL suit will undergo clinical tests in ten Japanese hospitals. No, this isn't the same robot outfit that was used during cleanup efforts after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Instead, this iteration of HAL has been designed to help accelerate rehabilitation for patients suffering from muscle and nerve diseases. As these patients are strapped into the robot suit, sensors that detect deficient electric biosignals (from the brain) are attached to their skin. The suit analyzes these signals as it decides which muscles need to be exercised. Small electrical motors will offer some assistance to patients as they work to move the afflicted muscles. According to The Asahi Shimbun, 30 adults have enrolled in the initial tests, with researchers planning to observe how valuable the robotic HAL suit proves as patients try to regain the ability to walk.
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