Honda Bodyweight Support Assist Device Selected for Innovation Exhibit at Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt

Honda’s experimental Bodyweight Support Assist walking assist device will be showcased in the National Design Triennial Why Design Now? exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution in New York, NY, from May 14, 2010, through January 9, 2011. Honda developed the Bodyweight Support Assist device to help support bodyweight to reduce the load on the user’s legs while walking, going up and down stairs and in a semi-crouching position. The device reduces the load on leg muscles and joints utilizing an easy-to-use structure consisting of a seat, frame and shoes. Unique Honda technologies include mechanisms that direct the assisting force toward the user’s center of gravity and control the assist force in concert with the movement of the legs – making it possible for the device to provide natural assistance in various postures and motions.

A second Honda device, Stride Management Assist (not in the Cooper-Hewitt exhibit), is designed for the elderly or people with weakened leg muscles, but who can still walk on their own. Honda has applied for more than 130 patents for its various walk assist devices, including Bodyweight Support Assist and Stride Management Assist, and is engaged testing to evaluate their full potential for real-world customer use.