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2015-02-16 updated

【News】HAL® for Labor Support (Lumbar Type) to Europe ~ the world’s first CE Marking on a wearable robot for labor ~

Today, February 16, 2015, CYBERDYNE Inc. (“the Company”) announces that the conformity of HAL® for Labor Support (Lumbar Type) (“the device”) to European Machinery Directive (*1) was certified and the Company became able to use CE Marking for the device as a wearable robot for a worker for the first time in the world. The Company can distribute and sell the devices freely in EU which faces the aging society with fewer children as well as Japan. The Company is planning the first shipment of the devices to Germany in March, 2015. In Japan, after the launch of the devices on September 30, 2014, the Company received many orders for them from construction, distribution, manufacturing industries and so on. The Company estimates sales of around one hundred units by the end of March, 2015.

HAL® for Labor Support (Lumbar Type) is designed to reduce the burden on a wearer’s lumbar when he/she lifts heavy goods. The device, as well as existing HAL® for Welfare Use and HAL® for Medical Use, assists the wearer’s move as he/she intends using Cybernic Voluntary Control (*2) system which enables an adjustment of assistance ratios depending on various types of works. Consequently, the wearer is able to lift up heavy goods safely and naturally, feeling the weight of the goods appropriately. The device’s weight is only 2.9 kg, the wearer can perform other daily jobs for a long time without taking it off.

Since the establishment of the Company in 2004 as a venture originating from University of Tsukuba, Japan, it has promoted development of Robot Suit HAL® utilizing the world’s most advanced technology and practical use of it in the society. The company always gives the highest priority to the devices’ safety. In July 2013, the Company declared CE Marking for Medical Device (CE0197) for Robot Suit HAL® for Medical Use (Lower-limb Type) as a robotic remedial device for the first time in the world. In November 2014, HAL® for Labor Support (Lumbar Type) and HAL® for Care Support (Lumbar Type) obtained the certification of ISO13482:2014 [Robots and robotic devices – Safety requirements for personal care robots], as wearable robots for workers for the fist time in the world. Making use of the knowhow acquired at that time, the Company obtained CE Marking for HAL® for Labor Support (Lumbar Type) this time.

The Company, taking advantage of the above obtainment of CE Marking, will develop a market in Europe and other global markets of wearable robots for labor and contribute to improve safety and sanitation standards in the world’s heavy work fields.

(*1) Machinery Directive, 2006/42/EC
Machinery Directive, 2006/42/EC designates health and safety requirements for machineries. A certain product becomes eligible for CE Marking when it satisfies relevant directives of the Directive. EN ISO 13482:2014 is harmonized with Machinery Directive, 2006/42/EC. Conformity to EN ISO 13482:2014 is regarded as conformity to major health and safety requirements of the Machinery Directive. HAL® for Labor Support (Lumbar Type) falls within the category of machineries for which self-declaration of conformity is allowed.

(*2) Cybernic Voluntary Control
When a person attempts to move their musculoskeletal system, neural signals are transmitted from the brain through the spinal cord to the muscles via motor neurons. Then, the muscles contract. During this process very faint Bio-Electrical Signals (BES) can be detected on the skin surface. Based on the signals obtained from electrodes affixed to a wearer’s skin, HAL assists the motions of the wearer’s limbs [Cybernic Voluntary Control (CVC) system]. “Cybernics (adjective: cybernic)” is the new academic field that is a fusion of various fields, namely, cybernetics, mechatronics and information technology (core areas) and robotics, brain/neuroscience, biology, behavioral science, psychology, law, ethics, and kansei science (a fusion of human, machine, and information systems). Cybernics are championed by Dr. Yoshiyuki Sankai, Professor of the University of Tsukuba and CEO of the company.

(*3) ISO 13482:2014
ISO 13482:2014 is the international safety standard that specifies requirements and guidelines for the inherently safe design, protective measures, and information for use of personal care robots. The Company participates standardization and proposal activities of ISO 13482.