Toyota shows robotic leg brace to help paralyzed people walk

Toyota Prosthetic Leg

(photo via Associated Press)

Tokyo — Toyota is introducing a wearable robotic leg brace designed to help partially paralyzed people walk.

The Japanese company is working in tandem with Fujita Health University to develop a device that can be worn on one leg at a time to help remedy paralyzation to one side of the body.  The device is called Welwalk WW-1000.  It would allow people to use a treadmill to begin relearning all the functions of walking.

Fujita Health University Japan

(photo via Fujita Health University)

A person demonstrated the technology by strapping the the brace to their thigh, knee, ankle, and foot and then showing how it is used on a treadmill.  The person’s body was then supported by harness from above and the motor of the Welwalk helped bend and straighten or her knee.  The sensors can adjust themselves to help and the medical staff can also control the system using a panel.

A hundred of these systems will be rented to Japanese medical facilities later this year.  The service entails a one-time initial charge of 1 million yen ($9,000) and a 350,000 yen ($3,200) monthly fee.

Toyota and Welwalk plan to unveil more robotic machines to help in the health and wellness sector within the coming months and years.