Medical Robot Maker Cyberdyne Doubles in Tokyo Trading Debut

Cyberdyne Inc., the maker of exoskeleton suits that help in rehabilitation, more than doubled on its Tokyo trading debut, the second-best first day performance among Japan initial public offerings this year.

Cyberdyne surged 159 percent to close at 9,600 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s Mothers market, compared with its IPO price of 3,700 yen. EnBio Holdings Inc. gained 178 percent on its first day of trading.

Aging populations and concern over rising health costs are spurring companies in the U.S., Europe and Japan to develop bionic suits and robotic devices that may some day save labor and help the physically disabled and elderly care for themselves. People above the age of 65 will make up 40 percent of Japan’s population by 2060, compared with about 25 percent currently, encouraging companies to invest in products for the elderly.

Spun off as a start up from the University of Tsukuba in 2004, Cyberdyne began trading after a 7.8 billion yen ($76 million) IPO. The company plans to invest in expanding the reach of its exoskeleton suit called HAL, or Hybrid Assistive Limb, globally.