Toyota Inovates Robotic Leg Braces For Older People

Toyota develops robotic legs

Toyota will lease mechanical leg props to 100 Japanese therapeutic focuses from fall this year.

The Welwalk WW-1000 framework is intended for individuals with extreme portability misfortune in one leg, for example, stroke patients.

The mechanized support fits around the knee and lower leg, helping the wearer to twist and rectify the joint.

Specialists say that having the capacity to lease the gear ought to make it more moderate for medicinal offices than getting it by and large.

The framework will cost one million yen ($9,130; £7,298) in advance, with a month to month expense of 350,000 yen ($3,195; £2,554).

Toyota has not discharged points of interest of the amount it would cost on the off chance that it were accessible to purchase instead of lease.

It was created in conjunction with Fujita Health University Hospital.

Patients first figure out how to utilize the gadget by strolling on an exceptional treadmill that screens their stride, with their weight bolstered from above by a harness.

One of Toyota’s chief research officers, Toshiyuki Isobe, said this approach helped “to reduce the burden on the patient and allows them to engage in training for longer.”

As users continue their rehabilitation, sensors in the brace monitor how they are walking, adjusting the amount of support it provides.

Dr Eiichi Saito, executive vice president of Fujita Health University, said the aim was to provide “just enough assistance”, gradually reducing it so that patients learned to walk better on their own.

But as Dr Farshid Amirabdollahian, an expert in rehabilitation robotics and assistive technology at the University of Hertfordshire, explained, such technology is not new.

“A system called Lokomat, which works on both legs, has been adopted by the NHS,” he said.

“There are similar systems in use in the Netherlands and the United States.”

These walking assist systems provide support for both legs, as this can help train the user to balance their weight and movement.

“What is interesting here is the service model,” he continued.

“Previously users of this technology were limited by how much they could afford: rehabilitation technology is quite expensive and many [hospitals] cannot afford it.”

He said that Toyota’s decision to allow facilities to rent the equipment meant more should be able to meet the initial costs and the monthly premiums. Japan is the fastest-aging nation in the world.

In 2015 more than a quarter of the population was aged 65 or older, compared to the global average of 8.5%.

As the number of elderly people requiring care and assistance increases, the number of working-age people able to provide those services is decreasing.

That has prompted Japanese companies to develop mobility assistance devices aimed at improving the wellbeing and independence of the elderly and reducing the burden on their caregivers.

In 2015, Honda launched a rental service for its own walking assistance system.

Unlike Toyota’s mobility aid, it fits around the wearer’s waist and thighs and works to improve their stride.

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