Toyota demonstrates robot to make elderly people walk faster

A model demonstrates Toyota’s rehabilitation robot Welwalk WW-1000. Reuters / Toru Hanai
A model demonstrates Toyota’s rehabilitation robot Welwalk WW-1000. Reuters / Toru Hanai

By Naomi Tajitsu, Reuters

Japanese automakers are looking beyond the industry trend to develop self-driving cars and turning their attention to robots to help keep the country’s rapidly graying society on the move.

Toyota said it saw the possibility of becoming a mass producer of robots to help the elderly in a country whose population is ageing faster than the rest of the world as the birthrate decreases.

The country’s changing demographics place its automakers in a unique situation. Along with the issues usually associated with falling populations such as labor shortages and pension squeezes, Japan also faces dwindling domestic demand for cars.

Toyota, the world’s second largest automaker, made its first foray into commercializing rehabilitation robots on Wednesday, launching a rental service for its walk assist system, which helps patients to learn how to walk again after suffering strokes and other conditions.  Continue reading Toyota demonstrates robot to make elderly people walk faster

Panasonic showcases industrial products including power-assist robots

Panasonic’s “Power Assist Device” supports air hammer forging process in Makoto Industries
Panasonic’s “power assist device” supports human worker at air hammer forging at processing plant in Makoto Industries

Panasonic demonstrated its robotic exoskeleton – which it calls power assist devices or suits – and its latest solutions for industrial power electronics applications at PCIM Europe 2016

Panasonic Automotive & Industrial Systems Europe has showcased its technology lineup, highlighting innovations such as passive components, semiconductors and thermal management solutions, as well as its robotic exoskeletons.

The company says its products provide “increased efficiency and reliability for a wide range of applications”.  Continue reading Panasonic showcases industrial products including power-assist robots