Rehab Robots!

“Injury” is a uselessly unspecific term. It covers a range from simple scrapes to complex concussions that mean a lifetime of suffering. Some things are generally true about injuries:

  • They’re unexpected.
  • They can happen at anyone at any age.
  • Complexity of the injury and age can prolong recovery time.

Toyota has embarked on a new program, the manufacture of robots designed to help people recover from and cope with serious injury.

As reported in PC Magazine:

Toyota wants to solve that problem with a robot rental system. The first of these was demonstrated yesterday when the company launched a walk assist system rental service. The robot is called the Welwalk WW-1

000, and it’s designed to help in the rehabilitation of anyone suffering with lower limb paralysis. While that could happen at any age, leg weakness is common following a stroke.


The initial system is designed for clinics serving large numbers of patients, but there is a vision of a home version of the robotic leg that could be an on-going help with personal mobility.

Unlike Toshiba’s disastrous flirtation with nuclear energy, Toyota is using core technology in a way that will benefit a large number of people across the globe and for which there should be substantial demand for decades to come. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do next.


  1. Matthew Humphries, “Toyota Launches Rehabilitation Robot Rental Service,” PC Magazine, 13 April 2017.



  1. rent a rehab robot! love the idea wonder if it would be more harmful. Allowing people to use a machine to treat themselves opens a whole new concept. What if new pain was caused from the robot not accurately treating the problem. I see more harm than good. I don’t know what are your thoughts.


    • That will be an issue as the amount of AI in the robot increases. In the near term, simple programming errors will be a problem, as they have been with self-driving cars.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s