Honda’s Prototype Walking Assist Devices to Go on Show in the USBy Greig, David; Gizmag,
Publication Date: April 16, 2009
Article features two walking assist devices for seniors and individuals with weakened leg muscles. Developed by the motorcycle and car maker Honda, the devices were designed to help people who have weakened leg muscles but can still manage to walk on their own. (1) Stride Management Assist is a lightweight wearable device which gathers information about the wearer’s walking motions from hip angle sensors and then uses a central processing unit to calculate how much assistance is needed and when, thus helping to lengthen user stride and regulate walking pace. The 6 pound device is worn with a belt around the hip and thigh, allowing it to be fitted to a range of body shapes. (2) Bodyweight Support Assist is better suited to assisting with more physically demanding activities such as going up and down stairs. The 14-pound Bodyweight Support Assist consists of a seat, frame, and shoes; the device is donned by slipping one’s feet into the shoes and lifting the seat into position. A unique mechanism allows the seat and frame to follow the movement of the body and legs and direct the assisting force toward the user’s center of gravity. A natural walking motion is achieved by sensors embedded in the shoes changing the amount of assistance to the right and left legs. The prototype devices were demonstrated at the 2009 Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress in Detroit.
Published by: Gizmag Pty Ltd (Website:http://www.gizmag.com/)
Link to text: http://www.gizmag.com/honda-walking-assist-devices/11474/