A suit(able) human enhancement


Safety equipment is evolving day by day, and it’s a very exciting time to be a part of it. Recently, we’ve seen a myriad of safety helmets especially, with the Falcon welding helmet or the Unit modular safety helmet. And now, Cyberdyne has taken a giant leap in safety equipment with the release of HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb). HAL is the World‘s first cyborg-type robot, by which a wearer‘s bodily functions can be improved, supported and enhanced. Essentially, HAL is a smart exoskeleton, assisting a physically challenged person to move and enabling them to exert more significant motor energy than usual.

As mentioned previously, Hal reacts to the user’s movement – by transmitting neural signals throughout the body to walk, each muscle can receive signals from the brain, Hal then reads these signals (bio-electric signals) and deciphers which sorts of motions the user intends to execute. HAL then assists the user with those actions as they intend and exert a more considerable power than they can ordinarily exert. Not just this, HAL can understand feedback from the brain, recognizing if a movement needs more help or more flexibility. The design and material choice for the hardware of HAL are visually appealing and inviting as opposed to other exoskeleton design choices. The only downfall here is the neon yellow fabric choices – the idea and execution of the product are futuristic and eye-catching alone, there is no need to draw attention away from the gorgeously sculpted surface work of HAL with such bright colors.

Designer: Tetsu Kataoka