Cyberpunk Review » Life Imitating Art - The Latest in Japanese Cyborgs

March 2, 2007

Life Imitating Art - The Latest in Japanese Cyborgs


Japan, the epicenter of cyborgs in anime, is also a leader in robotics. In the Tech News of the Day thread, r3plikazt47 provides this gem from CYBERDYNE, Inc. No, it’s not a Cyberdyne Systems model T-800 (that’s a different company); Yoshiyuki Sankai’s Hybrid Assistive Limb or “HAL” gives us the beginnings of a mecha type suit we see so often in animes. The proto-mecha suit that gives its wearer cyborg-like potential, including the ability to lift an extra 88 pounds or walk long distances without tiring (at least until the battery runs out).


Hal Screencap


Cyberdyne describes the method of movement enacted in their Cyberneic Voluntary Control system this way:


Cybernic Voluntary Control( Bio-Cybernic Control System)

When a person attempts to walk, for instance, the brain sends electrical impulses to muscles. when they arrive at muscles, faint bio-electrical signals appear on skin surfaces. HAL’s system works as described below:

  1. the bio-electrical sensors attached to the skin read the signals
  2. the computer immediately analyzes how much power the wearer intends to generate
  3. calculates the adequate amount of power assist and command power units
  4. power units generate torque and put limbs into action.

These process is completed a fraction of a second earlier than the muscles actually move…


Most interesting are is the multiple advances underway in attempting to “sense” the human nervous system. HAL isn’t an invasive approach to cyborg connectivity, but given the number of research efforts going on in this area, its only a matter of time before cyborg implants make their way into our society. The era of the posthuman will be arriving in the very near-future. More closer to this year though are the applications Cyberdyne already sees for its product:


… HAL is a robot suit which can expand and improve physical capabilities of human being. By wearing HAL-5, you can hold up to 40 kg load by arms and can increase the maximum weight of leg press from 100 kg to 180 kg.

Various applications for following purposes are expected.

  • Heavy physical labor supports at factories, plants
  • Rescue supports at disaster site
  • Care personnel supports
  • Entertainments
  • and more ….


We all know what the “and more..” part is - the hope that we too can become anime cyborg characters. From an entertainment standpoint, HAL adds a whole new dimension to Cosplay. I can’t wait to see the pictures!


March 2, 2007

[ETM] said:

I want to know about that Buttery Pack… :p

.anima.mechanica. said:

Why am I so reluctant to trust anything called ‘Hal….’ might be Kubrick’s fault. :-D I’m surprised they didn’t mention any military applications…..

Anonymous said:

I hope you don’t have to be freakishly emaciated like the guy in the video in order to wear it.

March 3, 2007

SFAM said:

Hi ETM, I thought about commenting on the Japanese English gaffs, but it almost seemed too obvious. I LOVE the Buttery packs though - greasy batteries probably last longer :)

And yeah anima, if something is gonna be named HAL, lets hope its an AI, not a souped up jump suit. As for military applications, Japan isn’t really big on military stuff, ever since…

.anima.mechanica. said:


Um, silly me.

Vesper said:

I’ll get one when they will be able to carry a laser cannon mounted on the shoulder ;)

Give me my BattleMechs!

March 5, 2007

Sean kennedy said:

and now for armor……

TG da JF said:

I can’t wait to see my pet cyborg getting his spine ripped out of his case.

SFAM said:

Hi Sean, I think I’d take the ultra-powerful glove attachment before the armor. Right now, the best this suit can do is have stuff lifted on it. Would be lots better if it came with mecha-gloves. :)

March 15, 2007

The_eNinja said:

I’ll take a couple of those, plzkthx :)

February 21, 2008

ninjamentat said:

That’s awesome. I’m really excited about this. They’re going to bring my girlfriend to life. Right now she’s trapped in the 2d anime world. I have no girlfriend in this 3d world, nor do I want one. The one I want is in the anime Ghost in the Shell Standalone Complex and her name is Motoko Kusanagi. Yup, that’s my girlfriend.

May 31, 2011

BudahMonks said:

THe bio engineering of the suit is very interesting but should be used with a more complex power unit and should have more powrful hydraulics put in to increase torque and power output and mecha gloves would be the same way with hydraulics and its a no to armour because most are made out of ultra strong fiberglass casing and or tin plated

August 3, 2011

Deadspace said:

It needs an extra limb so I can jackhammer away at the ladies for hours shocking them and oozing orgasmic gel.

~All Related Entries Related This~


All Cyberpunked living
All News as Cyberpunk

<<--Back to top

Made with WordPress and the Semiologic CMS | Design by Mesoconcepts