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Kawasaki Skyfront i-Newsletter

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CYBERDYNE Inc. launched HAL® for Task Support to enter fields of heavy work assistance devices

CYBERDYNE Inc. launched HAL® for Task Support to enter fields of heavy work assistance devices. Starting by introduction of the device to construction sites of Obayashi Corporation, a major construction firm, it aims at solving labor shortage.

CYBERDYNE Inc. (address: 2-2-1, Gakuen-Minami, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-0818, Japan, hereinafter “the company”) launched a new product, HAL® for Task Support–Back Load Reduction Type (hereinafter “this/the new product” or “the device”) which aims at work assistance to labors with reduced burden on an user’s back and mitigated risk of backache. By this, the Company will advance to the field of heavy task assistance devices, in addition to its existing field of medical devices.

The new product, controlled by Cybernic Voluntary Control*1 as well as the existing HAL® for Medical Use and HAL® for Wellbeing, is able to assist a user’s motion as he/she wishes with a certain assistance ratio*2. Therefore, it enables the user to perform works safely and naturally with the recognition of a weight of a lifted item. The device assists works by analyzing stress loading on the lumber spine and reducing burden on the low back. As the device is light and compact ( 2.9kg), the user can work for a long time without taking it off, when light work is also involved.

Attributable to the introduction of this new product, users can perform heavy works easier than ever before so utilization of it is highly expected for improvement of work environment in workplaces, hospitals and care service facilities and prevention of work hazards. Consequently, the device can contribute to solution of labor shortage due to the falling birth rate and the aging population and participation of women and aged people in society.

Today, on September 30, the company delivered the new products for rental to Obayashi Corporation (hereinafter “the user company”), the leading construction company, as the first user of them. From now, the company in cooperation with the user company performs verification through heavy works in construction sites, aiming at improvement of work environment and solution of labor shortage. This time, five devices will be placed in construction sites.

*1 Cybernics Voluntary Control
When a person attempts to move muscles, his/her will to move is transmitted as faint neural signals of ionic current from the brain through the spinal cord to the muscles via motor neurons. Then, the musculoskeletal system operates. During this process, very faint bioelectric signals surge on the skin surface. Detection of these signals means reading of the will to move. Based on the faint signals that HAL® obtains with the electrodes attached on a patient’s skin, it controls the power unit to assist the motions of human limbs. When the patient attempts to move his/her body, HAL® moves by this system.

*2 Assistance ratios for practical use: ordinarily 25%, maximum 40%

Four features of the device
1) The device assists the user to perform heavy works safely with setting of an assistance ratio and a maximal assistance volume.
2) The device assists as the user wishes.
3) The device reduces burden on the user’s low back.
4) The device is light and compact (2.9kg).

cf.) Cybernic technologies
Cybernic technologies are practical application of outputs from new academic field, “Cybernics”, which are a fusion of various fields, that is, cybernetics, mechatronics and information technology (core areas) and robotics, brain/neuroscience, biology, behavioral science, psychology, law, ethics, and kansei science. Cybernics is championed by Dr. Yoshiyuki Sankai, Professor of Tsukuba University Graduate School and CEO of the company.