No matter how advanced car companies become, they still essentially serve one major purpose: to get you from point A to B. This week in Tokyo, Toyota took that notion one step further. By unveiling four new "partner robots," Toyota hopes to make it possible for impaired individuals to walk again. Toyota walk assistThere are four designs:

The Independent Walk Assist robot (seen to the right) attaches at the knee and detects the user's intent to walk through the use of sensors on the thigh and foot. The motorized unit helps the knee bend as the leg comes forward, and can support the full weight of an individual. The Independent Walk Assist robot can be used in conjunction with the Walk Training Assist device, which monitors a host of movements to be sure that a patient is being rehabilitated properly.

The two others are not necessarily walking aids, but they do assist with rehabilitation. There is the Balance Training Assist robot that looks similar to a Segway. The robot works a patient's muscles by having them play a video game on the unit. The balancing act helps them regain necessary balancing memory.

The final robot is more of an assisting robot designed to help move patients from their beds to the toilet and back. This robot, called Patient Transfer Assist (shown above), will give freedom to those who previously needed someone to help them get out of bed.

The products are said to materialize sometime after 2013, according to Toyota.

[Source: Koowala]

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