TSUKUBA, Ibaraki Pref. -- Scientist Yoshiyuki Sankai was fascinated in his childhood by robots depicted in the U.S. literary classic "I, Robot" as well as Japanese comic books such as "Cyborg 009" and "Tetsujin No. 28."

Now he has become the creator of one of the world's most advanced robotic technologies: a robot suit.

The lower-body suit, called Hybrid Assistive Limb-3, is designed to help disabled or elderly people smoothly perform everyday activities such as walking and climbing up and down stairs. It will go on sale later this year as the world's first commercial product of its kind.