Honda's walking assist exoskeleton is an experimental device to support walking for the elderly and others with weakened leg muscles.
(Honda walking assist exoskeleton video)
Here's your scoopquote:
The cooperative control technology utilized for this device is a unique Honda innovation achieved through the cumulative study of human walking just as the research and development of technologies was conducted for Hondaís advanced humanoid robot, ASIMO. Applying cooperative control based on the information obtained from hip angle sensors, the motors provide optimal assistance based on a command from the control CPU. With this assist, the userís stride will be lengthened compared to the userís normal stride without the device and therefore the ease of walking is achieved.
The compact design of the device was achieved with flat brushless motors and a control system developed by Honda. In addition, a simple design to be worn with a belt around the hip and thigh was employed to help achieve overall weight as light as approximately 2.8kg. As a result, the device reduces the userís load and can be fit to different body shapes.
I can't really decide exactly what this device is supposed to do. It seems to help people lengthen their stride by providing some power assist in picking up the leg a bit further. I want to see how it works on steps.