A Japanese man is to climb Switzerland's 13,740ft Breithorn mountain in a robot exoskeleton this summer.
Seiji Uchida, a 43 year-old architect, will have the Hybrid Assistive Limb (Hal) attached to his feet, waist and arms, almost doubling the weight he can carry by picking up on his neural responses.
The suit will allow him to carry Kyoga Ide, a 16 year-old boy with muscular dystrophy, the last 950ft of the Breithorn on his shoulders.
Sensors on the skin detect electrical nerve impulses sent by the brain and a computer translates this into action.
"It is a unification of the robot with a human. The muscle and the suit move simultaneously towards the same goal," inventor Professor Yoshiyuki Sankai, of Tsukuba University in Tokyo, told The Scotsman.
"We started research work on the initial Hal project in 1992 but we have come a long way in that time and we are hoping to release a version of the robot limb on the open market in the near future."
Uchida has been paralysed from the neck down since 1984, and will use the device to climb the last 950ft of the Breithorn with the help of an experienced mountain guide.
Uchida set up the With Dreams charity, which aims to give the disabled experiences that would otherwise be closed to them, and will be climbing the mountain to raise money.
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