• Sariya Designs

Wearable legs help paralyzed walk once more.

In Pic : Wearable cyborg

Earlier this year, the Brooks Cybernic Treatment Center in Jacksonville , Florida, became the first US facility to use Japan 's innovative recovery equipment — the Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL).

HAL — basically a wearable cyborg — helps people with spinal cord injury and muscular dystrophy recover their mobility and improve their nerves and muscles. They 're a form of lightweight suit, known as exoskeletons, with joints driven by small electric motors that act as mechanical muscles.

Here's what's really mind-blowing: to monitor them, patients use their brain waves.

But the advantages are not just those with disabilities or injuries. By 2050, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there will be more than 2 billion people over the age of 60 and exoskeletons could provide a solution to the ageing population in the world.

An exoskeleton — driven by active minds — could help people remain on their feet in the future as human bodies wear down with age.

According to research company Markets and Markets, with such huge potential applications available, the global medical exoskeleton market will be worth an estimated US$ 2.8 billion by 2023.

Spectacled billionaire roboticist Sankai is the brain behind HAL. He is head of the Cyberdyne Japanese company — founded in 2004 — where his vision was to create these "wearable cyborgs" designed to "fuse man, machine and information."

And although Sankai 's name can recall the scary Cyberdyne Technology that created villainous robots in the "Terminator" U.S. science fiction blockbuster, the Japanese roboticist wants to build software not for war but for peace and rehab.

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