Honda has always been known to be a people’s champion and a leader in automotive technology. Be it their legendary VTEC series of engines, the FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle, or their small commercial plane, Honda is a company with a difference. Their Asimo is probably the most sophisticated humanoid robot in the world. Now it seems Honda is infusing a bit of Asimo technology into their products that hold the potential to bring about a revolution in the orthopaedic science.
Honda’s Walking Assist system is a revolutionary new technology which can help physically challenged patients to walk People with disorders pertaining to their legs can reap the benefits of this milestone invention. The project comprises of two devices – here are all the details.
The first device, Stride Management Assist, is a lightweight, wearable device designed for people with weakened leg muscles, but who can still walk on their own. It obtains information about the user’s walking motions from hip angle sensors. Based on the information, the CPU applies cooperative control and calculates the amount and timing of the assistance to be provided. With the device’s assistance, the user’s stride is lengthened compared to their normal stride and the walking pace regulated, thereby making it easier to walk.
The second device, Bodyweight Support Assist, is also designed to help people with weakened leg muscles, but may also be helpful during some physically demanding activities It supports bodyweight to reduce the load on the user’s legs while walking, going up and down stairs, and while standing in a semi-crouching position. The load on leg muscles and joints (in the hip, knees, and ankles) is reduced. This device has a simple structure consisting of seat, frame, and shoes, and the user can put it on by simply wearing the shoes and lifting the seat into position.
It’s great to see an automotive company applying its learning into the science of human welfare. Hats off to this Honda endeavour!