If there is anybody working in the field of robotics whose success we are equally amazed by and terrified of, it is Professor Yoshiyuki Sankai. While his colleagues are taking their cues from the more “sophisticated” side of sci-fi like Phillip K. Dick and THX-1138, Sankai has thrown out any pretense of goodwill, naming his company after the fictional cyborg firm responsible for the Terminator and trying to develop his own version of the exoskeleton from Aliens (which he’s named HAL, no less).
And yet for all the red flags, Professor Sankai’s CyberDyne seems poised to contribute more to humanity than any of its competitors. Their HAL (or Hybrid Assistive Limb) exoskeleton has the ability to augment the wearer’s strength by 80% and could drastically improve the lives and mobility of the old and disabled. Thanks to Sankai, we could be living on the cusp of a brighter and much awesomer world in which the lines separating man and machine are blurred to the benefit of all. Of course, that’s what they said about SkyNet.