TOKYO, April 22 Honda Motor Co., Ltd. will showcase anexperimental model of a walking assist device which could support walking forthe elderly and other people with weakened leg muscles, at the InternationalTrade Fair on Barrier Free Equipments & Rehabilitation for the Elderly & theDisabled (BARRIER FREE 2008) which will be held at Intex Osaka, Friday,April 25 through Sunday, April 27, 2008.
Designed for people who are still capable of walking on their own, Hondabegan research of a walking assist device in 1999 with a goal to provide morepeople with the joy of mobility. Currently, the device has entered into thefeasibility stage.
The cooperative control technology utilized for this device is a uniqueHonda innovation achieved through the cumulative study of human walking justas the research and development of technologies was conducted for Honda'sadvanced humanoid robot, ASIMO. Applying cooperative control based on theinformation obtained from hip angle sensors, the motors provide optimalassistance based on a command from the control CPU. With this assist, theuser's stride will be lengthened compared to the user's normal stride withoutthe device and therefore the ease of walking is achieved.
The compact design of the device was achieved with flat brushless motorsand a control system developed by Honda. In addition, a simple design to beworn with a belt around the hip and thigh was employed to help achieve overallweight as light as approximately 2.8kg. As a result, the device reduces theuser's load and can be fit to different body shapes.
The research of this device is being conducted by the FundamentalTechnology Research Center of Honda R&D Co., Ltd. in Wako, Saitama, Japan.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd., the world's preeminent engine maker, producing morethan 26 million engines annually for a diverse range of products includingautomobiles, motorcycles and power equipment products. Founded in Japan in1948, Honda began operations in the U.S. in 1959 with the establishment ofAmerican Honda Motor Co., Inc. (http://www.honda.com), Honda's first overseassubsidiary. Honda began U.S. production of motorcycles in 1979 andautomobiles in 1982. Honda began making power equipment products inSwepsonville, North Carolina in 1984, producing engines and lawnmowers. Thecompany has invested more than $10.6 billion in its North American operations,with employment of more than 35,000 associates, and annual purchases of morethan $18 billion in parts and materials from suppliers in North America.
Online multimedia newsroom available at: http://www.hondanews.comKey specifications of the experimental walking assist device Size 3 sizes (Small, Medium, Large) Distance between motors (S)312mm,(M)342mm,(L)372mm Weight (kg) 2.8 (Medium size) Drive system (motor/reduction ratio) Brushless DC motor/10 Battery (type/capacity) Lithium ion battery/22.2V-1Ah Operating time per charge 2 hours (when operated at 4.5km/hour walking)
SOURCE Honda Motor Co., Ltd.