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Robotics Hardware

Honda's Exoskeletons Help You Walk Like Asimo 135

Posted by timothy
from the walk-me-to-the-store dept.
kkleiner writes "Honda has created two walking exoskeletons based on Asimo research that assist humans in walking. The Bodyweight Support Assist exoskeleton is a set of thin legs attached to a seat. Users sit on the seat and slip their feet into shoes on the robotic legs. This system supports bodyweight to assist people in walking and moving up and down steps. The other, Stride Management Assist, is a brace worn around the hips and thighs that provides added strength when flexing that joint. It's currently under development and being tested by 130 patients in the field. Both devices may prove to be valuable tools in helping the elderly maintain their mobility, assisting the disabled, and easing the stress on physical laborers."
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Honda's Exoskeletons Help You Walk Like Asimo

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  • by Pieroxy (222434) on Friday September 17, 2010 @04:16AM (#33608760) Homepage

    Well, I wonder what will happen when the exoskeleton will be infected by a virus. Same question with the pacemakers and other stuff assisting life.

    Given that all the stupid computers in hospitals are running windows, this threat is actually already there, and does not seem to have caused many problems so far. Yet, I'm still very anxious to see these things more and more popular.

  • Reaction time (Score:4, Interesting)

    by KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) on Friday September 17, 2010 @04:22AM (#33608784)

    When they mention physical laborers, I start wondering if these type of exoskeletons will restrict us in some areas too. Would I for example be able to run as fast with one as without one? What about jumping or dodging to avoid a fast moving object?

  • WTH? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by miknix (1047580) on Friday September 17, 2010 @04:24AM (#33608796) Homepage

    http://singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/honda-exoskeleton-walker.jpg [singularityhub.com]

    Did they really need to put a man there? I feel the pain in my nuts already.

  • Re:WTH? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Friday September 17, 2010 @04:38AM (#33608856) Homepage Journal

    My guess is that half the target audience won't have nuts at all, while the other half may be drooping down quite a bit and so will be able to find a comfortable position for said components.

  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Friday September 17, 2010 @04:42AM (#33608874) Homepage Journal

    My X-Rays were delayed once because a virus got into the radiology systems. The images came on CD with handy DLLs which I would not have touched even if I used windows.

  • Honda? Meh. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 17, 2010 @04:48AM (#33608906)

    Honda is quite far behind in this technology.

    http://www.cyberdyne.jp/english/robotsuithal/

  • by Lupu (815408) on Friday September 17, 2010 @05:34AM (#33609060)

    Given that all the stupid computers in hospitals are running windows, this threat is actually already there, and does not seem to have caused many problems so far. Yet, I'm still very anxious to see these things more and more popular.

    With a year's experience working in a public hospital purchasing office I found (without searching) many critical security flaws in the processes. For example, the European Procurement Announcement agency regularly sends catalogs of EU-wide procurements in CD's that require Windows and autorun to function. The CD would start a web server off the disk and launch Internet Explorer to interface with the server. In other words, we regularly executed programs from CD's we got by mail in a very simple (and easy to replicate) packaging, on the same computers we use to make very expensive purchases (believe me, hospital equipment isn't cheap).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 17, 2010 @05:47AM (#33609112)
    Yes, exactly! Cyberdyne Systems is a Good Company [notarealthing.com]!
  • Lazy Fat People..... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by emh203 (815620) on Friday September 17, 2010 @05:49AM (#33609128)
    Not to sound to cruel, but I see this being overused more by people who are simply lazy. Every time to goto a store, I see overweight folks using the electric karts to scoot them selves around so they can fill their baskets with oreos and ice cream... That and old people..... I always tell people I am "pro death panel". We simple can't afford to keep pumping cash into machines such as this to keep 90 year people moving around.
  • by Anti Cheat (1749344) on Friday September 17, 2010 @07:39AM (#33609742)

    As a person with some mobility issues due to nerve damage, I can certainly see myself using such a device as this. After watching the selected movies of it in action, I could visualize how the forces that this machine exerts, would assist cases like mine. I have difficulty controlling my legs. I know this machine doesn't actually make the decisions about muscle control, but it still would help a segment of people with some nerve damage that affects the force and feedback required for steady motion. If some of the forces required to walk were reduced with an aid, then control would be improved. You see, as you exert more force you become more unstable because the nerves to fire the muscles aren't firing strong enough, no do they react or give feedback the same way, as those loads increase. Lighter loads are easier. Remove some of that muscular force required to stand and walk and you would become more stable. It's not just about simply removing dead weight from the legs. With this I would focus less about how hard I need to exert those forces and far more on the control for balance and movement if half the strength needed was removed. It would make a big improvement to stability control. That makes a huge difference for people with some level of nerve damage in getting around safely without stumbling etc. I don't think most people see it this way when they look at this device in action. It's not all about strength.

  • by shadowfaxcrx (1736978) on Friday September 17, 2010 @03:20PM (#33614720)

    That's just not going to happen. You can get a Segway for a few grand. My dad was in power wheelchairs for the last 12 years of his life. His last two cost $25,000. Each. These exoskeletons will be a lot more. No one is going to buy them just because "They're cool." Insurance companies are going to buy them for people who actually need them.

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