HAL Suits Could Help Support Nuclear Cleaners

By Andrew Tarantola on at

A Tungsten vest provides its wearer fantastic protection from radiation's damaging effects. Problem is — said vest also weighs about 60kg. So how does the Haz-Mat crew of tomorrow gird their loins in this radiation-resistant element? Exo-suits, obviously.

Cyberdyne (the real Japanese company, not the fictional LA firm responsible for Skynet) has adapted their Hybrid Assistive Limb, or HAL (oh, come on), to support these heavy tungsten tunics. HAL suits monitor the body's electrical impulses and attempt to support the user by anticipating his movements. "This new type of HAL robot suit enables their wearers to work on the site without feeling the burden," the company said in a statement. "It is hoped that this will reduce risks of working under harsh environments and contribute to early restoration operations by humans in the wake of disasters."

And, when used in conjunction with the conventional Tyvek suit, which is designed more for keeping radioactive materials from melting into your skin than protecting you from actual radiation, workers will be effectively protected. The company has not said whether these devices will be used at the Fukushima plant where roughly 2,000 workers daily struggle to sanitize the site. [Physorg]