Episode 1


Recovering lost bodily functions


Innovation Japan


Recovering lost bodily functions

When a person intends to move a part of her or his body, the brain sends nerve signals to the muscles. People with physical disabilities, whose nervous systems are damaged cannot send these signals reliably to the muscles, resulting in difficulties moving as they would like. Such disabilities have been considered difficult to treat until now. However, a newly developed “cybernic treatment”, revolutionary robot treatment system that will regenerate and improve the patient’s own brain-neuro-physical functions, has begun providing dramatic changes in patients’ abilities to move autonomously. Watch this video to learn how this system works.


Yoshiyuki Sankai, Ph.D.
President & CEO

Why was HAL developed?

Our physical and cerebral nervous system functions steadily decline with age.

I wanted to try to provide assistance with technology which could enable more people to lead healthy lives.


Cybernic Treatment doesn’t strengthen muscles. Instead, it improves connections within the nervous system.


When a person intends to move a limb, the brain sends signals through the spinal cord and the nerve cells to the muscles. Information of the “limbs movement.” returns to the brain from the sensory signal during the motion. Such network loops of signals help maintain the brain's healthy condition.

But sickness or injury can damage this network loop, resulting in difficulties moving.

Even for a person with a disability, signals sent from the brain to the muscles leaks onto the skin surface as a very faint signal.


We installed innovative sensors on HAL which could read and analyze the signal so that the robot could be controlled voluntarily by the wearer’s intention.

What’s important is the neural loop between the brain and the other parts of the body. Repeated exchange of the signals will reinforce the synaptic connections and drive relearning. Cybernic treatment improves and regenerates the physical function of the patients who suffer from disease such as neuromuscular disease.


Prof. Dr. med. Thomas A. Schildhauer
The Surgical Clinic and the Healthcare Center, Bochum

We treated now about 100 patients with spinal cord injuries with the HAL robot suit system.

And we see dramatic changes in their ability to move again.

We see in some patients also some improvement of their pain. We see improvements of their sensory, which is very important to prevent pressure ulcers.

And in some patients we also see changes in their urinary function.


Yoshiyuki Sankai, Ph.D.
President & CEO

We see cybernic, as a technology we can live together with, assisting us like a friend.

We live in an aging society. Japan sees this as a new industry, where we can provide solutions with new technologies. I believe that these innovations will greatly contribute to the world as we shift into the next society. Society 5.0.

This video was created in collaboration with CYBERDYNE, Inc.