TMC Shows New Nursing and Healthcare Robots in Tokyo

Four New Types of Robots Aimed for Commercialization from 2013
Tokyo, Japan, November 1, 2011—Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) held an event today here at its vehicle display space and theme park Mega Web to display a number of new robots developed to provide support in nursing and healthcare. The robots form part of the Toyota Partner Robot series, which is being developed to assist humans in their everyday activities.
TMC considers Partner Robots to be useful in four fields: nursing and healthcare, short-distance personal transport, manufacturing and domestic duties. TMC is developing technology that cooperates with humans, including devices that assist in the loading and moving of heavy components in factories, in addition to automated technology that enables autonomous tool operation.
TMC endeavors to provide the freedom of mobility to all people, and understands from its tie-ups with the Toyota Memorial Hospital and other medical facilities that there is a strong need for robots in the field of nursing and healthcare. TMC aims to support independent living for people incapacitated through sickness or injury, while also assisting in their return to health and reducing the physical burden on caregivers.
Each robot incorporates the latest in advanced technologies developed by TMC, including high-speed, high-precision motor control technology, highly stable walking-control technology advanced through development of two-legged robots, and sensor technology that detects the user's posture as well as their grasping and holding strength.
Since the announcement of its Partner Robot development vision in 2007, TMC has pursued the development of robots that support human activities, thereby enabling new lifestyles.
Main Features of Toyota Partner Robots
Independent Walk Assist
Developed with the aim of supporting independent walking for people whose ability to walk has been impaired by leg paralysis or other causes. Mounted onto the paralyzed leg, it helps the knee to bend to facilitate natural walking.
Walk Training Assist
Developed as a device for walking training, this robot incorporates Independent Walk Assist technology and assists in the development of natural walking from the early training stage for people whose walking is impaired.
Balance Training Assist
This robot was developed to support balance function training for people with impaired balance.  The combination of two-wheeled self-balancing (inverted-pendulum) technology and game elements is aimed at making training enjoyable.
Patient Transfer Assist
Developed to reduce the heavy physical burden required of caretakers when transferring patients.  With the combination of weight-supporting arms and a mobile platform, this robot helps the caregiver throughout the patient transfer process from bed to toilet and back.
These nursing and healthcare Partner Robots were developed in collaboration with Fujita Health University Hospital in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, which provided TMC feedback on the needs of specialized medical facilities, to use in the design of the robots.
TMC, in cooperation with a wide range of nursing and medical facilities, will accelerate further development of the robots while taking into consideration feedback of medical staff, with an eye for commercialization from 2013.
Outside the nursing and healthcare field, verification tests on short-distance personal transport assistance robots are being performed at commercial centers and active use is being made of manufacturing assistance robots in automobile production. Development in the field of domestic duty assistance is also progressing.
Name Independent Walk Assist Walk Training Assist
Main application Supporting independent walking for people whose ability to walk has been impaired by leg paralysis or other causes Supporting return to natural walking from early training stages for people with impaired walking
Features -Detects the intention to walk using a thigh-position control sensor and a foot load sensor and then helps the knee swing forward as the leg is brought forward -Provides reliable support when the weight of the body is supported by the knee -Employs Independent Walk Assist -Adjusts the body-weight support level according to the degree of recovery and monitors gait data such as joint angles to provide a visual interpretation of rehabilitation progress
Size Width: 280 mm, depth: 290 mm, height: 620 mm ­770 mm (Leg portion: Same as the Independent Walk Assist)
Weight Leg-affixed portion: 3.5 kg Leg-affixed portion: 4.0 kg
How Toyota Partner Robots Assist in the Nursing and Healthcare Fields
Name Balance Training Assist Patient Transfer Assist
Main application Supporting balance function training for people whose ability to maintain balance is impaired Reducing the heavy physical burden of moving patients required in caretaking
Features -A two-wheeled robot used in a standing position -Can be used to play three games—tennis, soccer and basketball -Provides balance training by moving the people in the game (in tandem with the movements of the training individual) according to a shift in body weight to the front, back, left and right -Facilitates enjoyable training -A combination of weight-supporting arms and a mobile platform -The arms are shaped to easily accommodate patients, and are equipped with compact, precise control functions to provide gentle transport similar to being carried by a person -Designed for easy use by both caregivers and care recipients
Size Width: 480 mm, depth: 700 mm, height: 1,100 mm Width: 700 mm, depth: 995 mm, height: 900 mm
Weight Base unit: 21.3 kg 140 kg


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