Rehab Robots!

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“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.

539178-toyota-welwalk-robot-system.jpg

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.


Sources:

  1. Matthew Humphries, “Toyota Launches Rehabilitation Robot Rental Service,” PC Magazine, 13 April 2017. http://www.pcmag.com/news/353042/toyota-launches-rehabilitation-robot-rental-service?utm_source=email&utm_campaign=dailynews&utm_medium=title

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2 thoughts on “Rehab Robots!

  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.

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    • 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.

      Like

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