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Suit designed for mobility problems

A special suit designed specifically to help people with mobility problems has been unveiled by a Japanese robotics company.

The HAL (hybrid assistive limb) has been designed by Cyberdyne and is equipped with sensors that are capable of reading brain signals and then directing limb movement through the skin.

The suit comes in three sizes - small, medium and large - and is specifically designed to relay brain signals to mechanical leg braces which are strapped to the thighs and knees and provide robotic assistance to movement.

A company spokesman said: "HAL is to help people with weak leg muscles and mobility problems. We wanted to show HAL is very useful for our daily life."

HAL could prove hugely beneficial in Japan which has a rapidly ageing society. Approximately a fifth of the 128 million population is aged 65 or more and the figure is expected to double over the course of the next three decades.

Cyberdyne is also hoping that HAL's benefits will reach as wide a market as possible. The signs so far have been encouraging with the company confirming that there has been interest from Europe and the US.

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