This isn’t the first device we’ve seen that’s meant to help the elderly or crippled walk unassisted, but it’s certainly the most compact and user friendly thus far. Honda will demo the walking assist device that they’ve been working on since ‘99 this coming weekend in Osaka at the International Trade Fair on Barrier Free Equipments & Rehabilitation for the Elderly and the Disabled. Some nine years later, the device has reached the feasibility stage and attendees are welcome to try it out at the Honda booth. Damn, I wish I could go and try it out. It’s a bummer seeing old folks struggle to get around and I’m positive that my grand parents would want this.
It’s no surprise that Honda’s ASIMO humanoid robot played an integral role in the development of this device. Using data obtained from hip angle sensors, the control CPU communicates to the flat brushless motors and provides the right amount of assistance to help those using the device lengthen their strides. The walking assist device weighs a paltry 6.2lbs and wraps around the waist and thigh. Battery life for the device is currently 2 hours when used at 4.5km/hour.