It has been quite a month for miraculous restorative robotics. First we saw a glove with the capacity to improve motor skills of individuals suffering from spinal cord injuries. Now, Honda has introduced the Stride Management Assist, a device that will be featured at the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology in August.
The Stride Management Assist is a lightweight device using technology harnessed from the creation of ASIMO in order to “support people with reduced walking ability.” Consisting of a harness around the waist and two metal braces that clamp on to one’s legs, the device weighs in at just over 6 pounds, and contains a control computer and two brushless DC motors, one on each side of the waist.
According to Ubergizmo, the device “works by analyzing the wearer’s stride and boosts it by providing assistance to the thighs when extending the front leg and when the rear leg pushes off.” In other words, users still need to have the ability to “walk under their own power.”
Keeping in mind that the Stride Management Assist is primarily designed for the elderly, the hour or more of lithium-ion battery life should provide plenty of juice for daily strolls. Although the Assist won’t go into testing until the end of August, Honda is hopeful that the device will not only make walking easier, but will also strengthen leg muscles to make walking without the machine even easier.
Jacob Siegal spends a vast majority of his time surrounded with and invested in technology and media, so he decided he may as well start writing about them. You can find more of his writing atGame Rantand his topical tweets@JacobSiegal.
Copyright (c) 2012 PCWorld Communications, Inc.
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