back to article Japan develops powered armour suit for nuke workers

A splendid Japanese professor has offered his "HAL" powered exoskeleton suit for use by nuclear powerplant workers at Fukushima, pointing out that the suit's motorised limbs would allow users to lift radiation-proof armour which would otherwise be prohibitively heavy. Tsukuba-based firm "Cyberdyne" said in a statement: "This …


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  1. Ru

    Powered, armoured exoskeletons for reactor maintenance?

    I've heard that line somewhere before.

    Mine's the one with the assault cannon and cyclone rack...

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Mike Brown

        Christmas? Heretic! Emperors Day surely?

        1. perlcat


          It is Saturnalia!

  2. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Cyberdyne?! Someone's tempting fate...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      dont forget

      the systems called HAL as well...

  3. Rob



  4. The Situation

    The firm's actually called Cyberdyne?

    If armoured suits don't catch on, next they'll suggest creating robots to do the job and then we're on the slippery slope to DOOOOOOOOM.

    "the film didn't include the individual drop capsules or the power armour, and was much the poorer for it" - Yep, but the film had Denise Richards instead so that's mlore than enough compensation.

  5. joshimitsu

    first to mention

    both the robo lifter in Aliens and Cyberdyne System in Terminator 2.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I want my Power Loader (to fight bitches), now!

  7. Jim jimminy jim jim jim jim

    Can i be the first to say Space marines? ... awesome!

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Don't need radiation proof armour

    In a hazardous environment why would you want a person inside the suit at all - better to separate the sensors and the motors, and control it remotely.

    1. annodomini2
      Thumb Up


      And if the radiation fries the electronics, or just a simple failure the robot gets stuck at least it's only the robot that is lost and doesn't put a person inside at greater risk.

  9. Big Al

    Cyberdyne? Wtf?

    This is presumably the same Cyberdyne Systems who will shortly be working on Skynet?

    I think we have enough evidence that encouraging them to work on bipedal exoskeletons would be a bad move... (see illustration).

    1. AlexH

      They certainly won't be inventing Skynet; Paradigm Secure Communications beat them to it when, in an exercise many might consider to be tempting (if not outright taunting) fate, they decided that would be the perfect name for their network of military communications satellites. Cheers for that, guys.

      Can the Reg please keep their eyes peeled and alert us if/when the two companies start working together...

      1. Stephen May

        I'd say there's prior art there...

        ...seeing as the first SkyNet bird was launched in 1969.

  10. Xris M


    So your telling me a company called "Cyberdyne" actually exists and it makes robotic suits. Surely this is not a good idea!

  11. Stretch

    Major fracture detected. Automatic medical system engaged. Morphine administered.

  12. heyrick Silver badge

    Starship Troopers?

    Try "AppleSeed", or any number of variations on the theme.

    1. Thecowking

      Starship Troopers far predates any and all modern anime.

      It's not my favourite book, being rather heavy on the military procedure and light on the story, but it's definitely worth a read.

  13. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    Japan, powered suits

    All of my anime dreams are coming true! Now all we need are the A.D. Police and the Knight Sabres, Patlabor Mobile Police or possibly the Olympus ESWAT teams to pick up the pieces when the powered suits run amok.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wakey wakey

    Cyberdyne and Skynet have been real life items for quite a long time now.

    and yes, they're heading in the scary direction the movies have hinted at... self fulfilling prophecies and all that.

    Just need the laser cannon to come to reality and we're all set

  15. Wannazzaki

    For The Emperor!

    "They shall be my finest warriors, these men who give of themselves to me. Like clay I shall mould them, and in the furnace of war forge them. They will be of iron will and steely muscle." ... I'll get my coat.

  16. c3

    Everyone got Cyberdyne, but you're missing HAL

    As in HAL, the murderous computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    Also, Skynet already exists. There are a bunch of things called Skynet. Amongst them: satellites and an ISP: just what a newborn self-aware computerized conscience needs to keep an eye on its former masters, the puny humans.

  17. Bill Neal

    "...the film didn't include the individual drop capsules or the power armour..."

    the 3rd film did.

  18. Dive Fox

    Welcome to the H.E.V. mark 4 protective system. For use in hazardous environment conditions. High-impact reactive armour activated. Atmospheric contaminant sensors activated. Vital sign monitoring activated. Automatic medical systems engaged. Weapon selection system activated. Munition level monitoring activated. Communications interface online. Have a very safe day.

  19. Michael 47

    For radiation purposes I'm not sure I see the point

    Not sure is see the point of this suit (in terms of stopping radiation, I'm sure every commentard could think of a few other interesting uses). In terms of actually stopping radiation a couple of layers of cotton will stop any alpha particle, and a bit of plastic sheeting will stop beta radiation. On the other hand it takes several feet of lead plating to even slow down gamma radiation, and I doubt any suit could generate enough power to move all that around (unless there a nuclear power plant strapped to back, which I think would defeat the object somewhat,,,)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder what rev of HAL they are up to

    A company named cyberdyne making a system called HAL. What could possibly go wrong.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Stop being alarmists!!

    What could possibly go wrong, other than a sudden radiation surge coursing through the control circuitry of the powered suit, melting said circuitry into the operators brain stem and the intense pain and shocking revalation of his-now-lost humanity leaving the operator insane and irrevocably melded to his irradiated and unstoppable powered armor suit.

    Oh wait, that's what could go wrong....

  22. Openminded Cynic

    Whist wearing this suit.... it possible to open the pod bay doors?

  23. mhoulden

    Power Armour?

    Does it come with a Pipboy 3000 as well?

    1. Maikol

      Important questions, whats the radiation resistance percentage of this power armor and how much caps does it cost?

  24. Dorobuta

    Either Cybermen or Daleks, in any event, this will prove to be the downfall of mankind. Unless the Dr shows up.....

  25. jon 72

    Appleseed and variations

    The Matt Helm movie called “The Ambushers” circa 1967 is the earliest example of powered exoskeltons I can find at short notice, may be something earlier than that but not sure. There is also a Sci-Fi novel whose name escapes me where the hero shuts down a runaway nuclear reactor whilst wearing an armoured power suit.

  26. Gordon 10


    That I'm the first to say :

    On the bounce!

  27. Mr. Byte
    Thumb Up

    To the everlasting glory of the infantry...

    Shines the name of Rodger Young.

    Yeah, Rico would approve. So would Zim.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You may not believe this but..

    It seems that in the depths of the "New Scientist" archives is a reference to using one of the 4K superconductors (specifically Type 1) to modulate a stream of gamma radiation.

    Can't recall exactly what the application was, possibly imaging or similar like a programmable aperture which could be set for scanning by quenching sections sequentially.

    So... Make a suit with a cryogenic layer inside and out, with an MgB2 layer in the centre.

    Doesen't need to be continuous as MgB2 still superconducts in powder form.

    Flow liquid nitrogen and helium through the lining to keep it below its Tc and voila.

    The theory has to do with the superconductors excluding magnetic fields. As gamma rays are essentially high energy electromagnetic waves superconductors should affect them.

    If nothing else it should help reduce the intensity by a couple of orders of magnitude allowing a worker to go into an otherwise lethal environment and still only get a survivable dose.

    One wonders if anyone has tried using a highly electrically charged superconductor-insulator-superconductor capacitor to see if this affects the shielding?


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