Cyberdyne, a Japanese robotics company has designed an Iron Man-like exoskeleton to help people with weak muscles or disabilities move.
The company describes it as Hybrid Assistive Limb-5 (HAL-5).
"When a person attempts to move, nerve signals are sent from the brain to the muscles via motoneuron (sic), moving the musculoskeletal system as a consequence," Fox News quoted the English-language section of the Cyberdyne Web site as explaining.
"At this moment, very weak biosignals can be detected on the surface of the skin. 'HAL' catches these signals through a sensor attached on the skin of the wearer," the site said.
The exoskeleton weighs about 50 pounds, though it supports its own weight, and increases the wearer's strength up to 10-fold.
The company has revealed that the HAL-5 model runs on battery power, and can go nearly 3 hours before needing a recharge.
According to reports, at a suggested retail price of about 4,000 dollars, the HAL "robot suit" may become the first such exoskeleton aimed at civilians.