Toyota is one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world. Unsurprisingly, it also branches out into some other fields, such as robotics. Now Toyota announced that from this autumn it will start a rental service for the Welwalk WW-1000 robot, designed to aid in the rehabilitation of individuals with lower limb paralysis.
Welwalk WW-1000 robot is extremely easy to use and, from the first glance, features a rather simple design. Of course, this simplicity, as is always the case, took a lot of time and effort to perfect, meaning that a lot of engineering went into it. This robot has a central touch panel, which allows controlling all of its functions. It is based on motor learning theory and provides usable feedback for health professionals and patients. More than anything, Welwalk WW-1000 adapts itself to the needs of the patient and allows adjusting difficulty for every patient individually.
Welwalk WW-1000 robot will be available for rent for various clinics and rehabilitation centres. Toyota believes that there should be a big interest in the technology, because of how easy it is to use. It is meant to help individuals with lower limb paralysis, caused by a stroke, injury, some diseases or conditions. A patient with some assistance climbs onto a machine, which works like a treadmill, but is a little bit smarter.
Welwalk WW-1000 robot essentially is made of two major components – its main body and robotic legs. Interestingly, main body, which has a large screen, treadmill, rails and system of attaching points weighs as much as 800 kilograms. Patient is help up by a system of cables, essentially providing support for standing up when it is needed. Meanwhile robotic legs are attached as an exoskeleton and assist the movement. Eventually the patient should not need these robotic legs anymore and should be able to exercise by himself. There is a screen for the rehabilitation specialist, giving all the important information, allowing changing the rehabilitation routine.
Toyota is developing all kinds of robots, most of them are related with mobility. In a way, this one is too, helping people to stand back on their feet after surviving stroke, other disease of injury.