Honda Chairman Fumihiko Ike mentioned about the Honda Walking Assist as they qualified for the ISO 13482 certification, “We have been doing tests in various angles based on our desire to develop a familiar technology that can help the world.”
Honda started developing the Walking Assist in 1999 as a research derived from the humanoid robot Asimo. At that time, this kind of technology development was suggested within the development group.
A family member of a staff from the development team could no longer stand and go to the bathroom. Since it would be troublesome for him or her to go outside, the family member would end up staying in bed all the time. Thus, the development of walking assist began as we wanted to help people with weakened legs; we then moved forward to learning theories about walking and set our aim of developing comfortable assistive equipment.
According to some accounts, the first equipment that they have developed weighed about 16kg; it was very difficult to use and walk with such technology. They have developed it until it became lighter, now adopting a 2.7kg weight in total. Chairman Ike said, “Through the Honda Walking Assist, we aspire to have even just one out of many people to be able to stand up and walk again on their own, and bring back in them the happiness in walking once again.”
(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)