Honda, more widely known for bringing transport mobility,
has actually been swimming the water of motorized walking assistance for over 10 years. The latest two products went to market are Stride Management
Assist (SMA) and Bodyweight Support Assist(BSA), both created to assist elderly or otherwise
mobility-challenged people to walk and enhance their mobility on their own
exertion and will.
Stride Management Assist（SMA) device has a simpler setup than Bodyweight Support
Assist. Weighing at 6 lbs, SMA is designed for people with weakened muscles
after injury but still could walk on his own to restore normal mobility at
greater speed and greater distance with ease. SMA assist the swinging forward
of legs while adjusting walking stride and rhythm by having a motor sit on each
hip and help lifting leg.
Body Support Assist (BSA) adds the ability to support
bodyweight during squatting and crouching by taking the load of the knees and
hips with an exoskeleton structure. The built-on seat, frame and shoes facilitate natural movements and postures of
users by assisting forces toward user’s center of gravity and control the
assist force in concert with leg movements.
Both devices feature sensors and computerized motors to
achieve close to natural movements. Batteries
are included to run 2 hours straight on a single charge. Three training modes
- Following mode: The
Walking Assist Device influence the user’s walking motions based on the
walking pattern of the user.
- Symmetric mode: Based on
the walking patterns of the user, the Walking Assist Device influences the
user to achieve bilaterally symmetric motions such as bending and
extending both legs.
- Step mode: The
Walking Assist Device influence the user’s steps repeatedly to recover the
rocker functions* which enable the smooth shifting of weight.
As a feasible means for stroke patients’ mobility
rehabilitation, the Honda Walking Assist Devices have gone through clinical
trials in Japan and have been leased to hospitals and rehab facilities
countrywide. The devices also found application in workplace where
worker’s muscle strain is developed from heavy-lifting, repetitious bending
and long periods of walking and