A real-life Terminator (sort of) lives in Japan! As part of Robot Week in Japan, researchers and engineers at Japan’s University of Tsukuba have showcased their new accomplishment, a robotic suit that can be controlled by the brain of the human inside. It was built to assist in the cleanup the damaged at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
According to JapanDailyPress.com, the researchers are calling the robotic suit HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb), and it will be their prototype for other “smart” robotic suits in the future. The suit is actually a vest made of tungsten with a robotic exoskeleton. It will come equipped with a network of sensors that will monitor the brain of its user. The researchers claim that this would be a seamless transition so the human inside and the robotic suit can “talk” to each other. The idea would be for Japanese recovery workers to wear the 60 kilogram (132 pound) robotic suit to assist in the nuclear power plant’s cleanup and recovery effort.
The problem with the robotic suits is the real-world concern that these suits can malfunction, or lose power, leaving the human inside helpless. The suits are incredibly heavy, and the prospect of the human inside becoming trapped without a lifeline is a serious problem.
Here’s the kicker, the name of the company that will produce these HAL suits is called (wait for it)… Cyberdyne. First, the name of the robotic suit is HAL, the human-killing supercomputer from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. And they’re also being made by a company named Cyberdyne, the evil corporation responsible for Skynet, Judgment Day, and the human-killing terminators from James Cameron’s Terminator series? What could possibly go wrong?