Cyberdyne: A Leap to the Future

Case Solution

Doug J. Chung, Mayuka Yamazaki
Harvard Business School ()

Cyberdyne Inc. was a Japanese technology company that wanted to commercialize a Hybrid Auxiliary Link (HAL). HAL was a robotic exoskeletal system designed for people who had difficulty walking due to nervous system disabilities from stroke, spinal cord injury (SCI), and persistent neuromuscular disease. In a person with neuromuscular disorders, the signals transmitted by the brain to control muscle movement had weakened, making it difficult to walk. HAL was able to read and amplify the weak signals reaching the skin’s surface non-invasively, activating actuators to aid limb movement. Therefore, HAL allowed the person’s brain to learn to walk again, as HAL could improve the transmission of the neurological system. To market HAL in the US, the world’s largest medical device market, Cyberdyne applied to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and was eagerly awaiting approval. The case centers on Cyberdyne’s Gotomarket strategy to market and sell HAL in the US once it receives FDA approval. The case considers the structure of the sales channel as a choice between direct and field service and other elements of the marketing mix that accompany it, in particular price and target market selection, in order to understand the ways of bring a technologically innovative product to market in one company to another. bring business context (B2B).

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