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Honda Begins Leasing Walking Assist Device

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TOKYO, JAPAN – May 28, 2013: Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has begun leasing its innovative Walking Assist Device to hospitals in Japan that provide rehabilitation training and physical therapy.

Always striving to improve people’s mobility, Honda began research and development of the Walking Assist Device in 1999. Similar to Honda’s humanoid robot ASIMO, the Walking Assist Device adopts cooperative control technology developed from Honda’s cumulative study of human walking.

The control computer activates motors based on information obtained from hip angle sensors while walking, to improve the symmetry of the timing of each leg lifting from the ground and extending forward as well as promoting a longer stride for an easier walk.

The compact design and overall weight of less than 2.6 kilograms were achieved through the adoption of thin motors and a control system developed independently by Honda, as well as a simple design that enables the device to be worn with belts. From the early stages of the research and development of the Walking Assist Device, Honda has been working together with medical corporations, businesses and research institutions.

To date, Honda has conducted collaborative research on rehabilitation training / physical therapy using the Walking Assist Device in seven hospitals. Honda is now inviting a broader range of hospitals to participate in this monitoring process by leasing a total of 100 units of the Walking Assist Device to gain more feedback from real-world users to further improve the functions and usability of the device.