On November 2 in Tokyo, auto maker Toyota unveiled several robotic devices designed to help paralyzed people and the elderly walk.

These robots include sensors that detect the user’s posture, grasp and holding strength, and motor control technology that facilitates someone’s desired motion.

The devices, developed in collaboration with Fujita Health University Hospital in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture, include the Independent Walk Assist, an adjustable computerized leg brace mounted onto a paralyzed leg that helps the knee bend as the wearer walks, and the Balance Training Assist, which helps people with balance problems strengthen their muscles.

Another robot, the Patient Transfer Assist, uses a combination of weight-supporting arms and a mobile platform to help caregivers move patients around, such as from the bed to the bathroom.

All the new devices are expected to be available in 2013.

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