Toyota will certainly commercialize in Japan the Welwalk WW-1000 rehabilitation help robotic device that helps stroke victims get ago on their feet and walking again. Toyota plans to rental 100 units to Japanese medical centers beginning in September. There will certainly be a collection up price of 1 million yen ($9,173) and also a monthly fee of 350,000 yen ($3,210).

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By Tim Hornyak | April 13, 2017

As worldwide populations age, there’s increasing need for modern technologies that can help people who have suffered paralysis brought about by stroke. Later on this year, Toyota will certainly commercialize the Welwalk WW-1000 rehabilitation help robotic system centering ~ above a foot brace that helps patients get earlier on their feet and also walking again.

Toyota’s Welwalk WW-1000 is composed of a connected treadmill, touch-panel manage screen, overhead harness, video clip monitor and the engine- brace. Feedback is vital feature: in addition to the visual feedback native cameras in front and on the side, voice and also sound feedback can tell the patient whether the pack on the frozen foot is too large or too small.

The Japanese government approved the Welwalk WW-1000 together a certified medical machine in November 2016. Toyota plan to rent 100 systems to clinical centers beginning in September. There will certainly be a collection up expense of 1 million yen ($9,173) and also a monthly fee of 350,000 yen ($3,210).

Stroke is among the leading reasons of paralysis. Patients who room trying come retrain their motor muscles deserve to use long leg braces to assistance their weight, however it’s still challenging to totter the frozen leg front to walk; using smaller braces carries the risk of the knee buckling.

How Toyota’s Welwalk WW-1000 Robotic device Works

When patients room standing and also using the Welwalk WW-1000, the knee engine ups the talk to keep the leg stable. When walking, data native a push sensor in the single of the brace is used to analysis leg movement and also accurately flex the knee in ~ the appropriate moment. If the mechanism is fairly bulky, with the brace weighing 6 kg and also the treadmill measuring 2.7 meter long and also weighing 800 kg, Toyota claimed experienced therapists can acquire patients prepared to use it in as little as one minute.

Toyota Welwalk WW-1000 (Credit: Toyota)

“With this, the patient have the right to walk long distances at gaits the approximate organic walking,” Akifumi Tamaoki, general manager the Toyota’s companion Robot Division, said at a press event at company headquarters in Tokyo. “One of the outstanding functions of the Welwalk is the it combine the ideal of the short and long braces.”

Ten year in the making, the Welwalk was emerged with Fujita health and wellness University Hospital and trialed at 23 hospitals through over 300 patients since 2014. Eiichi Saito, a doctor and also executive vice president at Fujita health and wellness University Hospital, proved a video of a 60-year-old hit patient who doubled her walking rate on the Welwalk in 4 weeks.

“With a training robot, patients deserve to start walking quite effectively,” Saito says. “Therefore, I think this an innovation has an excellent potential.”

Toyota Welwalk WW-1000 Robotic foot (Credit: Toyota)

Toyota imagines a selection of its partner Robots working alongside people in whatever from child-rearing and also education come agriculture, forestry and mining. That began developing robots to assist car manufacturing in the 1980s. In 2004, it unveiled a humanoid companion Robot that deserve to play the trumpet, and also in 2011 introduced nursing and also healthcare robotic technologies. That Segway-like Winglet, likewise being trialed in Japan, is one example of how Toyota envisions seniors getting about with sensor-equipped mobile platforms.

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In parenting homes and also facilities because that handicapped people, Toyota has likewise been experimenting with devices it calls HSR, or person support robot, the can help mobility-challenged customers by fetching or choose up objects native the floor.

“In 2050, the variety of workers sustaining one yonsei citizen will certainly be decreased to one-third the what it was in 2000, which means the load on the working generation to care for the elderly will certainly be tripled,” claims Toshiyuki Isobe, manager in ~ Toyota’s Frontier research study Center. “We want to realize by 2050 a society where companion robots can support the lives of senior citizens and help with their nursing care.”