Striving to offer the joy of mobility to more people, Honda began research and development of the Honda Walking Assist Device in 1999. As with ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot, the Honda Walking Assist Device adopts cooperative control technology that was developed based on Honda's cumulative study of human walking.
Back in 1999, Honda engineers made it their mission to help people with weakened legs or recovering from stroke or other injury become more mobile. Using ASIMO, Honda’s walking humanoid robot, they developed a piece of technology that supports a person’s body weight to make it easier to walk.
Like all of Honda’s technology, Walking Assist features smart design that puts the user at the centre of it all. Not only is it able to adapt to any body size and shape, it also maps and tracks a user’s progress to help them operate it more easily.
The key features include:
1)Following mode: The Walking Assist Device influence the user’s walking motions based on the walking pattern of the user.
2)Symmetric mode: Based on the walking patterns of the user, the Walking Assist Device influences the user to achieve bilaterally symmetric motions such as bending and extending both legs.
3)Step mode: The Walking Assist Device influence the user’s steps repeatedly to recover the rocker functions* which enable the smooth shifting of weight.
In Japan, Walking Assist is really on the move. In 2013, Honda partnered with 50 hospitals to get this revolutionary technology to the people who need it most. And in 2015, we expanded the program by leasing the Walking Assist to more hospitals, businesses and facilities across Japan.
In 2018, it was announced that our Walking Assist obtained the Medical Devices Directive certification, for use in the training and rehabilitation of walking. This will enable Honda to launch the device within the European Union and bring our dream yet another step closer to reality.
Few other projects have brought us as much joy as Walking Assist. Because the joy of moving you is what moves us.
*For now, Walking Assist isn’t available for lease in South Africa.