HAL-5 robotic suit ready for mass production

Tsukuba University engineering professor Yoshiyuki Sankai could probably give his two weeks notice if he should so desire, as his brainchild -- better known as HAL -- is getting ready for "mass production." Cyberdyne has embraced the overwhelming potential available in a fully robotic suit, which could prove handy in such applications such as "walking assistance and rehabilitation, nursing, factory work and disaster relief." Having already assisted a paralyzed individual (almost) summit a mountain, the robotic suit will reportedly find itself in hospital wards in Tsukuba city (alongside the HOSPI, presumably) soon, and the company plans to produce "20 units" by 2007, while ramping up to "400-500" in 2008. While the idea of having your own personal strength-boosting Halloween costume might sound appealing, you'll have to pony up an estimated "¥5 million ($42,273) - ¥7 million ($59,182)" to purchase one, or ¥70,000 ($592) per month to rent, but even that's pocket change compared to throwing down for your own personal Land Walker.

[Via Engadget Japanese]