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SDU to test robots for Honda

Posted on September 2, 2013

The Japanese industrial giant has developed a robot that can be strapped around the waist of disabled people to help them walk. SDU is to test how effective it is and whether it can be used for rehabilitation.

The University of Southern Denmark and the Japanese industrial giant Honda signed an agreement whereby researchers at the Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics will test a mobility robot that can help the disabled.

Honda has been working on the robot, called Walking Assist Device, for 10 years, and now wants to have it tested among different groups, such as the elderly and sick, before putting it on the market.

To this end the company has been looking for European partners, and it chose SDU, which focuses on testing technologies that can improve the mobility of elderly and incapacitated people. Odense University Hospital will also test the robot.

The robot pushes and pulls

The robot is a so-called mobility robot which is tightened around the hip of the walking-impaired person. It starts by analysing the user’s walking pattern and then adapts to this pattern by either pushing or pulling the legs when the user moves.

Assistant Professor Paolo Caserotti from the Research Unit of Muscle Physiology and Biomechanics will lead the testing. He heads a large regional research project designed to identify how older people can become more self-reliant.

 

Source: University of Southern Denmark

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