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Dr. Yoshiyuki Sankai | TEDxTokyo 2010

The late, great Isaac Asimov would love robotics pioneer Dr. Yoshiyuki Sankai. The good doctor, who grew up reading futuristic fare such as Asimov’s classic “I, Robot” and the comic book Cyborg 009, has merged science fiction and reality in his cyborg-inspired “robot suit HAL,” (HAL = Hybrid Assistive Limb). HAL reads faint bio-signals appearing on the skin when the human brain attempts to move.

Dr. Sankai hopes that HAL will one day help the disabled and elderly to move freely and boost the physical capabilities of all humans. He expressly creates technologies designed to benefit humankind, refusing to design for military use and other destructive purposes.

In 2004, Dr. Sankai established a venture firm called Cyberdyne Inc. through the University of Tsukuba as part of a plan to commercialize HAL.