Here in the U.S., suits that give wearers super strength are locked up in military-funded labs. In Japan, however, researchers and entrepreneurs are teaming up to rent the exoskeletons out for "70,000 yen [$590] a month plus a maintenance fee," Japan Times reports. University of Tsukuba professor Yoshiyuki Sankai, designer of the HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb) "power-assist system," is the brains behind the robo-muscle operation, directed at the elderly and infirmed. His suit, which allegedly enhances leg-strength by 80 percent, has already helped a paralyzed man go mountain-climbing in Switzerland. Now, Sankai is going into business with Daiwa House Industry Co., which has "started constructing a manufacturing facility recently to produce 400 to 500 suits annually starting in 2008." If a wearer wants to move a limb, its motor, reading signals from the brain, will go into action, and the hands and legs will move together with the suit. Its special feature is that the suitâ€™s hands and legs do not move on their own, but the person can move them at will, Sankai said. A polio sufferer could walk, although with a limp, and even a person with a spinal disability could walk with its help, he said. But there may be a military market for Sankai, yet. I bet soldiers wouldnâ€™t hate their Land Warrior wearable electronics quite so much, if they had some super-strength to help carry all that gear around. While heâ€™s at it, maybe Sankai could equip the exoskeletons with sewn-in stun guns. ----- The anime is becoming reality... !!!