Ankle Walking Assist Device – Robotic exoskeleton leg for people with walking ailments
Walking is not as simple a task as it seems for the elderly who are aging and it is an everyday struggle for them. To assist those wearing legs the only option is to get a pair of crutches or wheelchair. But Yaskawa Electric in collaboration with Shibura Institute of Technology and Hiroshima University’s Space Bio Laboratories is set to change that with their latest development. Ankle Walking Assist Device (AWAD) is a kind of robot developed by these pioneering institutes to make life easier for aged people or people suffering from some kind of walking disparity. Made in the form of a boot with support up to the calf muscle and chins, this robotic walking assist also known as neuroprosthetic robot suit runs on a battery pack connected to the waist. The exoskeleton system functions by detecting the foot movement with the help of sensors and as soon as heel hits the ground the robotic system gives a boost to maintain forward movement.
When in coordinated movement the robotic assist functions in complete harmony with the feet movement to make it easier for the person wearing it to move forward comfortably without any hindrance in natural walking posture. The system can be adjusted according to the needs of wearer, wherein the amount of boost or assistance in walking can be toggled. AWAD robotic exoskeleton assist for walking is expected to be out for purchase in 2015 and we can expect a whole lot of new features and minor changes in the final version.