Let the robots do the walking for you with the Honda ‘Walking Assist Device’

Honda walking assist device

Honda was founded with a single principle at its core: “utilizing technology to help people.” Typically, that has meant cars, motorcycles and walk-behind lawnmowers. But it is in this spirit that Honda also created the Walking Assist Device, a hip-mounted mechanical unit that assists users in the act of walking.

Weighing less than 5.7-pounds, the WAD uses thin motors and acontrol system in combination with hip angle sensors to assist in walking while also improving the timing and symmetry of the user’s gate.

Presently, only 100 units have been sent out to Japanese hospitals on a leasing program. While the WAD has received a great deal of positive feedback in its preliminary trials, Honda hopes to take what it learns from this larger-scale lease program and apply it to a broader release.

Honda WAD

Powered by a small, onboard lithium-ion battery pack, Honda claims the WAD is capable of a 60+ minute operating time. Smartly, Honda has also made the WAD weather resistant and operational in temperatures from 36-degrees to 86-degrees Fahrenheit. The WAD also best operates in humidity levels between 30  and 85 percent.

As it stands, the WAD is only available in M-size (hip width: 13.3-inches) L-size (hip width: 14.9-inches), which makes it obliviously inappropriate for most Americans. Also, its limited temperature operation range cuts out most of the areas where retirees live, like Arizona and Florida, which often see temperatures well in excess of 86 degrees. Also, Florida often sees humidity well above 85 percent in the mornings, making the WAD a questionable choice for older Floridians. At least this version. 

Sure, we’re jumping the gun a bit, as the WAD is not yet available outside of Japan. Regardless, we’re quite excited by the development and eagerly await when we don’t have to walk from our desk to the office fridge under our own power.

Product Review

The Brava Oven takes all the thinking out of cooking

Using bulbs to cook food at different light frequencies, the Brava Oven lets even the clueless cook a tasty meal. But your own smart chef doesn’t come cheap.
Home Theater

What is Terrarium TV? Here’s everything you need to know

Terrarium TV offered a way to watch movies & TV for free, but now after a troubled existence, the app's developer has shut it down, and offered an ominous message to users on his way out.
Product Review

How does the sleek MateBook X Pro hold up to the modern day competition?

Huawei impressed us with the MateBook X, a solid competitor to the 12-inch MacBook that beat Apple at its own game. Now, Huawei is taking a shot at premium 14-inchers with the MateBook X Pro, but it’s not without oddities – like a…
Cars

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.
Cars

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.
Cars

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.
Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Cars

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.
Cars

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Cars

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.
Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.