A Japanese man took a robot piggy back ride on a heritage site fulfilling a dream. With the help of a robotic outfit clad friend the crippled man was able to scale the steep lanes of the Mont Saint Michel landmark in France. The robotic suit gives the wearer superhuman strength and allowed Seiji Uchida’s old dream of visiting the site come true.
49 year old Seiji Uchida was left crippled and unable to walk following a motorcycle accident in his twenties. He had always wanted to visit the Mont Saint Michel medieval site in north western France. Until now the goal had been unrealistic as the site is characterized by its steep steps on a sea lapped mound and is nearly impossible to access for wheel chair-bound people.
Now, after the Hybrid Assistive Limb, a body-length device developed by Japanese scientists came into existence he was able to fulfill this long term goal. A student Hiromasa Hara wore the suit and then strapped Seiji Uchida onto his back.
The suit which gets attached to the back, arms and legs of the wearer reads brain signals and follows the muscular actions. It then takes the strain of the load off the wearer allowing him to lift up to 200 kg. After the ride was completed, Uchida said that he wanted to show his children that even with a disability you can tackle anything you want.
The wearer, Hara also commented that although he was aware there was a load on his back, the robotic suit made it feel like much less than the load of a person, making his task much easier than if he was to have attempted it without the suit.