Japan, with the oldest (65+) population in the world and an extremely low level of immigration, has been a leader in development of robotics for both home assistance and ‘comforters’ (e.g. robopets like Paro.) Now for something different: an ‘assisted limb’ — actually, skeleton–that reacts to nerve impulses and can help the elderly to move and walk normally. Cyberdyne’s HAL is in the line of research by companies like iWalk and the US Department of Defense’s research arm, DARPA, which concentrate on robotic prosthetic limbs. HAL will be on view at next week’s AAHSA in Chicago. USA Today provides an overview (article, video) of robotics for the elderly in Japan, including a ‘walking PC’ and touches on the cultural obsession with robots.