Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Honda's walking assist device

Honda is adapting some of its robotics technology for human use. One of these crossovers is a newly revealed walking assist device for disabled individuals.


The cooperative control technology utilized for this device is a unique Honda innovation achieved through the cumulative study of human walking just as the research and development of technologies was conducted for Honda’s advanced humanoid robot, ASIMO.

Applying cooperative control based on the information obtained from hip angle sensors, the motors provide optimal assistance based on a command from the control CPU. With this assist, the user’s stride will be lengthened compared to the user’s normal stride without the device and therefore the ease of walking is achieved.

I can envision an "industrial" variant that employers can use to guide their workers through time and space as needed. RFID navigation nodes would move workers through facilities hastily while providing them with instructions and information during the trip. It might prove to be a problem if one was using the restroom at the time of summons.

(Do I need a "dry-cynicism alert"?)

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