AI News, Toyota's Healthcare Robots Are Ready to Help You With Absolutely Everything

Toyota's Healthcare Robots Are Ready to Help You With Absolutely Everything

Healthcare and elder care is a big concern in Japan, whose population is aging more rapidly than their current human-centric infrastructure is prepared to cope with.

Companies like Toyota are hoping that robots will be able to pick up a little bit of the slack, and this week they've introduced four new robotic systems designed to help keep people healthy and independent as long as possible.

The first couple systems are designed to provide single-leg walking assistance to people who have balance issues, or even people suffering from complete paralysis in one leg.

Toyota shows robotic leg brace to help paralyzed people walk

The Welwalk WW-1000 system is made up of a motorized mechanical frame that fits on a person's leg from the knee down.

The service entails a one-time initial charge of 1 million yen ($9,000) and a 350,000 yen ($3,200) monthly fee.

The gadget is designed to be worn on one leg at a time for patients severely paralyzed on one side of the body due to a stroke or other ailments, Eiichi Saito, a medical doctor and executive vice president at Fujita Health University, explained.

person demonstrating it strapped the brace to her thigh, knee, ankle and foot and then showed how it is used to practice walking on the treadmill.

Honda Motor Co.'s Asimo humanoid can run and dance, pour a drink and carry on simple conversations, while WelWalk is more of a system that uses robotics than a stand-alone robot.

He said patients using it can recover more quickly as the sensitive robotic sensor in Welwalk fine-tunes the level of support better than a human therapist can.

Toshiyuki Isobe, Toyota's chief officer for research, said Welwalk reflects the company's desire to apply robotics in medicine and other social welfare areas, not just entertainment.

'We have been developing industrial robotics for auto manufacturing, and we are trying to figure out how we can use that technology to fill social needs and help people more.'

Watch Toyota's latest humanoid robot balance on ONE LEG as it mimics the motions of its owner

Toyota has unveiled a new humanoid robot that can mimic the actions of a human operator, allowing it to do everything from balancing on one foot to squeezing a balloon without popping it.

Scroll down for video  The system allows the operator to control the robot remotely from the Mastering Maneuvering System – a large chair equipped with movable arms and dozens of sensors.

Or, it could be used in construction sites, disaster-stricken areas, or even in space, to help explore or carry out work in environments that are potentially dangerous for a human.

‘The Partner Robot team members are committed to using the technology in T-HR3 to develop friendly and helpful robots that coexist with humans and assist them in their daily lives,’ said Akifumi Tamaoki, General Manager, Partner Robot Division.

‘Looking ahead, the core technologies developed for this platform will help inform and advance future development of robots to provide ever-better mobility for all.’ 

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