Rather goofy-looking at first glance, Honda’s new legs (aka Bodyweight Support Assist Device) makes walking and stair-climbing easier for the elderly and folks on rehab. Leveraging walking technology from full-body ASIMO robot, the leggy device provides natural walking and crouching support with its combined saddle, motorized leg frame and force-sensing shoes. With a control computer and battery pack neatly tucked away under the femur of the frame, the legs sense and guide motion while walking, going up and down stairs and in a semi-crouching position. An assisting force is directed towards the user’s center of gravity and in sync with movement to support one’s bodyweight and reduce the load on the user’s leg muscles and joints.
The legs are on display at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution in New York starting May 14th.
The prototype, as of Nov. 2008, weighs 14.3 lbs including shoes and batteries, operates for 2 hours on a single charge of a lithium ion battery, and comes in three sizes for users of roughly 5’2″, 5’6″ and 6′ in height. More than 130 patents have been applied by Honda to its walking assist devices, which are currently being tested in real-world conditions to evaluate their effectiveness. Honda’s other walking assist device will not be on exhibit.
Press release: Honda Bodyweight Support Assist Device Selected for Innovation Exhibit at Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum…
Product page: Honda Walk Assist
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