Honda Walking Assist
For Honda, the study of human mobility is not just about developing humanoid robots. Since 1999, Honda engineers became focused on helping people become more mobile, specifically those who have trouble walking or who are recovering from an illness or other injury.
It was during the development of ASIMO, Honda’s humanoid robot, which walks, runs over uneven terrain, climbs stairs and kicks balls, where they developed the technology that would help these kinds of people and make it easier for them to walk.
In most of these instances, the challenges were to develop a device that not only supports a person’s body weight, but mimics their natural walking motion. This meant that the device had to be flexible enough to allow for varying body shapes and sizes as well as varying degrees of walking difficulty.
Walking Assist is uniquely designed around the user and employs smart technology to support their strides in response to information received from hip sensors. It can not only be adjusted for weight, shape and height, but also be adapted for different levels of mobility.
Back in 2013, Honda started partnering with hospitals in Japan to get this life-enhancing technology to the people who needed it – a programme that has met with great success and expanded to include 250 hospitals, businesses and organisations across Japan.
In 2018, Honda’s Walking Assist obtained the Medical Device Approval in the EU. This Medical Devices Directive, which describes the Walking Assist as a device for use in the training and rehabilitation of walking, will enable Honda to launch the device within the European Union, and ensure that many more people can benefit from this innovative technology.
For more about Honda Walking Assist technologies, see the official Honda Robotics Website
* Walking Assist is not yet available for use in New Zealand.