Thanks to Honda's new robot legs, soon even walking
will be obsolete. Can I get a "Yay, Science!"...?
If you're anything like me -- and I hope for your sake that you are -- then there are countless times on any given day when you find yourself thinking: "Gee, I really wish I didn't have to use my legs right now." Like, for instance, when retrieving the remote control from three feet away, walking (read that: stumbling/shuffling/crawling) home from the bar, or standing up off the toilet. (Because sometimes I get really involved in the book I'm reading and the hard plastic seat makes my lower half feel all numb and lifeless. Much like Hubie Brown.) Well, here's some good news: We might soon be able to eliminate these and other annoying leg-necessary life tasks by using Honda Motor Company's new robot legs.
Honda, makers of many fine robotic products that will one day violently wipe humanity off the face of the earth, recently unveiled its experimental "walking assist device," which helps support bodyweight to reduce the load on an individual's legs while walking, going up and down stairs, crouching, and giving pure evil a big old kick in its fiendish ass. The device is designed for people who can walk on their own but simply don't want to (or can benefit from additional leg and body support ). This is ideal for factory workers, old people, and the exceptionally lazy.
The device is basically a bike seat with a jointed frame and shoes that can be easily slipped into and strapped on. Sounds childishly simple, I know, but here's where glorious Science comes in for the save: The robo-legs have two motors that are controlled by signals from sensors inside the shoes AND a built-in mechanism that directs the assisting force toward the user's center of gravity so that you can control the assist force in concert with blah, blah, blah-diddy-blah. The point is, the device allows you to use your legs in almost any natural way while it supports your body weight and absorbs all the stressful pounding. Kind of like a robot-leg version of Tera Patrick.
Here's the bad news: Pricing and commercial product plans are still undecided. However, Honda has already begun testing the prototype with its assembly line workers. So, if you think about it, we're this much closer to fully functional mechanical suits that will allow us to take back the night from the world's most dangerous super villains. One small step for silly-looking robot legs, one giant leap...FOR JUSTICE.
Bonus video: Here are the robo-legs in glorious, goose-stepping action.