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Japan has taken a step into the science-fiction world with the release of a "robot suit" that can help workers lift heavy loads or assist people with disabilities climb stairs.
"Humans may be able to mutate into supermen in the near future," said Yoshiyuki Sankai, professor and engineer at Tsukuba University who led the project.
The 15-kilogram (33-pound) battery-powered suit, code-named HAL-5, detects muscle movements through electrical-signal flows on the skin surface and then amplifies them.
It can also move on its own accord, enabling it to help elderly or handicapped people walk, developers said.