You know Toyota from the cars that they are making. But Toyota is much more than just an automotive brand. It is also active in heavy industry, robotics and many other sectors. For example, it has just launches its new Welwalk WW-2000 robot, designed to provide rehabilitation support to individuals with lower limb paralysis.
Every year thousands of people with lower limb paralysis as a result of stroke and other causes, have to learn how to walk again. This requires an incredible amount of patience and care from professionals. It is easier when advances equipment can be used, such as Toyota’s robots, designed to help the rehabilitation by supporting the individual attempting to walk and providing data.
The Welwalk WW-2000 robot is actually and improvement over the previous year Toyota’s device the Welwalk WW-1000. That model was launched in the spring 2017 and consisted of a big treadmill with lateral and overhead support system as well as camera and screen system. It also had a robotic leg, which provided assist in knee bending and stretching movements. This tool was extremely useful, because it allowed tracking progression and presented numerous challenges of varying difficulty. The generic name of that robot was “active extension, flexion and rotation movement device” and that is a very good explanation of what it does.
The Welwalk WW-2000 robot is an improvement over the previous model. For example, it can now display assistance settings in real time. Now it also has games, designed to improve motivation of the patients and make exercises just a little bit more fun. It automatically recognizes abnormal gait and provides a quantitative result, helping to track progression. It has other advantages as well. For example, it reduces the burden on therapists, because it provides a certain level of exercise for the patient without physical efforts from the rehabilitation professionals.
Toyota worked very hard on the designed as well. The Welwalk WW-2000 robot is simple in its construction, easy to assemble and not difficult to use. Most of its functions can be controlled via central touch panel. This is also where the data is presented and can be recorded for future reference. All in all it is a hi-tech tool to help people to regain their ability to walk after diseases or traumatic events.
This is not exactly a unique machine – there are other rehabilitation robots on the market. However, it is a good example, showing that Toyota is much more that just an automotive company. Toyota is a very well-known name in robotics, including technology used in the medical field.