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Cyborgs among us
Maybe the post raises the vision of an even too dark future (as cyberpunk literature shows us), but in this case we are talking about an initial experiment of integration between the human being and a powered exo-skeleton.
The unit, called HAL (which stands for Hybrid Assistive Limb), interprets the electrical signals coming from motor neurons and, based on their intensity, it activates its several servo motors in order to enhance the users motion and strength.
The integretaion is not intrusive at all (yet it might be) and it allows disabled persons to be independant once more, or, more simply, to increment the wearer’s strength by up to 10 times (according to HAL’s father, prof Yoshiyuki Sankai of Tsukuba Univeristy).
It is interesting to notice that Sankai refused to licence the technology for any use other than the therapeutical (so no miltary exo-skeletons).
The first step towards a future of artificial limbs has been made. Cyborgs are among us.