[CEATEC 2012] We’re still a long way off from having self-replaceable, robotic legs but that isn’t stopping companies from trying to pave the way for such technology. Murata is one such company. Back in 2011, the company exhibited a concept model of an Electric Walking Assist Car, and this year they’ve managed to create a fully-working prototype. Looking like a smaller version of a Segway, users don’t stand on the “Car”. Instead, they lean on it, putting their weight on its handlebars, pushing forward, pulling backwards or turning into the direction they wish to go. From what we can see, it works like a regular walking aid – except that it looks a lot fancier and has some additional features over its normal counterpart.
Utilizing technology from Murata’s own “Murata Boy” and “Murata Girl” cycling robots, the Electric Walking Assist Car features Murata’s own MEMS gyro sensor, inclinometers as well as its inverted pendulum control technology. This allows the Electric Walking Assist Car to help users climb hills (that aren’t too steep), and turn much more easily compared to traditional walking aids. The Electric Walking Assist Car will also offer resistance when users are going downhill, so they don’t move too fast and injure themselves. No word on pricing or a release date, but battery life seems to be a problem right now (it only lasts for 30 minutes), so we’ll expect Murata to refine the product a little more before pushing it out to the public. Check out a video demonstration below: