One of the highlights so far at CEATEC 2011 has been the HAL robot walker. Made using Intel tech – and unsurprisingly shown off at the Intel press conference – the robot walker has been created by Cyberdyne, a Japanese company whose CEO is professor Yoshiyuki Sankai.
The HAL robot walker has many uses, with Sankai explaining to the CEATEC crowd – TechRadar was in attendance – that using it has medical benefits, helping people recover from brain damage.
This is because the technology 'plugs' into humans, by linking up with your nerve and reflexes and tapping into what connects the brain and the body.
The demo TechRadar was shown was of a woman walking with HAL but we were also shown what happens when you wrap a sensor cord form the device around an arm.
Once this was done, the demo lady managed to control the leg with arm movement – showing off the possibility of using this technology to help people with disabilities.
Sankai also hinted that the HAL robot walker could be used for gaming and that it can also be hooked up to the internet – which means there is a lot of scope for the technology in the future.
Sankai is calling the technology as 'first of its kind' and even provided some brilliant animations on how the walker could enhance someone's life.
In the graphic, you can see an old man using the walker to get around and HAL, at one point, is helping him to eat – hinting that there could be a full body suit in the offing.
You always get robot technology at CEATEC but for a big company like Intel to show it off is impressive - though it has to be said that Intel is merely providing the chips, with Cyberdyne doing the rest of the work.
As an Intel spokesperson said in the keynote:"It is necessary to have a consideration for others in technological advancement; we need to create technologies that serve people and bring happiness."
While we may never see HAL in the UK, it is great to see something that's straight out of a science fiction film come to life on stage.
We just hope it doesn't take its name too seriously and become sentient.
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Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.