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Robots for rehab: Toyota robot keeps elderly walking

Rehabilitation robot helping someone learn how to walk again; Inset: Different exoskeletons of rehabilitation robots. (Source: AFP photo)

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Robot outer skeletons (exoskeletons) help people walk again after strokes & accidents. Toyota & Honda are big players in the emerging technology.

REABILITATION & ROBOTS

Robots for rehab: Toyota robot keeps elderly walking

12/04/2017
Reuters

TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp said it will commercialise rehabilitation robots later this year

Toyota will make its robotic walk assist system available for rent.

This means that Toyota will be joining Honda Motor Co in marketing mobility devices for Japan's ageing population.

A decade after Toyota began developing rehabilitation robots, the world's No.2 automaker on Wednesday said the system would be ready to hit the market by the end of 2017.

This is two years after Honda launched a similar device.

HOW MUCH DO THESE COST? WHAT DO THEY DO?

Hospitals and other care providers would be able to rent the system.

The system is designed for patients with lower limb paralysis

The system rents for 350,000 yen (110,000 baht) per month plus an initial fee of 1 million yen.

"The (system) will help to provide assistance to the elderly by enabling them to live more independent lives and to also provide support for their caregivers," Toyota said in a company statement.

JAPAN: 25%+ OVER AGE 65 IN 2015

Japan is greying faster than the rest of the world.

The number of people aged 65 or older accounted for 26.7% of the population in 2015.

This dwarfs the global average of about 8.5%.

Demand for aged-care services has boomed recently in Japan. 

The shrinking working population in Japan means that fewer able-bodied adults are available to look after the elderly.

ROBOTS FOR ASSISTANCE IS GROWING MARKET

Globally, sales of robots for elderly and handicap assistance will total about 37,500 units in 2016-2019, and are expected to increase substantially within the next 20 years.

This is according to the International Federation of Robotics.

AUTOMAKERS ARE MAJOR INVESTORS IN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)

In 2015, Honda launched a rental service for its mobility contraption.

Worn around the waist and attached to the thighs, it helps patients improve their stride and walk.

Such systems are a new frontier for major automakers, which are already competing to develop self-driving cars with an eye on the elderly as a major future market.

Toyota has invested heavily in artificial intelligence (AI) as part of its push into self-driving cars, and has said it may become a maker of AI robots to help the elderly.



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Vocabulary:

able-bodied : physically strong and healthy; not disabled, handicapped - พิการ) แข็งแรง, มีสุขภาพดี

according to (prep): as stated or reported by somebody/something - ตามคำบอกเล่า, ตามรายงาน

accounts for : to be a particular amount or part of something -

ageing : growing old - สูงวัยขึ้น

assist : to help - ช่วย

assistance : help; aid - ความช่วยเหลือ

attach : to fasten or join one thing to another - ทำให้ติดกัน, ต่อ, ยึดติด

available : not too busy to do something - ใช้ประโยชน์ได้

average : an amount calculated by adding several amounts together, finding a total, and dividing the total by the number of amounts - เฉลี่ย, ค่าเฉลี่ย

boom : a sudden increase in trade and economic activity; a period of wealth and success - ความเจริญรุ่งเรืองทางเศรษฐกิจ

care : medical care; medical treatment; the process of providing medical care - การรักษา

caregivers : people who have to job of taking care of people who cannot take care of themselves such as the sick, disabled and elderly -

commercialise : to make something into a product or service that can be sold and bought for money -

compete : to try to be more successful or better than somebody else who is trying to do the same as you - แข่งขัน

contraption : a machine, that is strange or doesn't work every well -

decade : a period of ten years - ทศวรรษ

demand (noun): the need and desire of people to buy goods - อุปสงค์

develop : to think of or produce a new idea, product, etc. and make it successful; to build new houses, factories, etc. on an area of land, especially land that was not being used effectively before - พัฒนา

device (noun): a machine or piece of equipment that does a particular job - อุปกรณ์ เครื่องมือ เครื่องจักร

dwarf : to make something seem small or unimportant - ทำให้ดูเล็กลงหรือไม่สำคัญ

elderly : (of people) old - สูงวัย, อาวุโส, อายุมาก

enable : to make someone able to do something, or to make something possible - ทำให้เป็นไปได้

expect (verb): to think or believe that something will happen or that somebody will do something - คาด, คาดว่า, คาดการณ์

federation : a large organisation made up of several smaller organisations or groups that share similar aims - สหพันธ์, สมาคม

fee : an amount of money that someone pays to be allowed to do something, or in this case, to hire someone - ค่าธรรมเนียม, ค่าจ้าง

frontier : a border between two countries, especially one with official points where people or vehicles cross; the outer edge of a country or area that is the furthest point where people have started to live and build towns - ชายแดน, พรมแดน, เขตแดน

global : world - เกี่ยวกับโลก

globally : throughout the world - ทั่วโลก

greying : growing older -

handicap (noun): a permanent physical or mental condition that makes it difficult or impossible to use a particular part of your body or mind - ความพิการ

hit the market : to become available for sale brand - วางขาย

improve : to make better - ทำให้ดีขึ้น

independent : not taking help or money from other people - พึ่งตนเอง

initial : early; first - เบื้องต้น

international : connected with or involving two or more countries - นานาชาติ, สากล, ระหว่างประเทศ

invest : to spend money on something in order to make it better or more successful - ลงทุน

launch : an event held to start selling a new product or service to the public - การเริ่มวางขาย

limb (noun): an arm or a leg - แขนหรือขา

look after (verb): to take care of, look after - เฝ้าดู, มองตามหลัง, ดูแล

major : very large or important - สำคัญมาก

mobility : the ability to move or travel around easily - การเคลื่อนที่ได้ง่าย, การเคลื่อนไหว

paralysis : not able to move or do things - อัมพาต

patient : someone who is receiving medical treatment - คนป่วย, คนไข้

population : a particular group of people or animals living in a particular area - กลุ่มที่อาศัยอยู่ในที่เดียวกัน

provide : to give someone/ something that they want or need - จัดหาให้, จัดเตรียมไว้ให้

provider (noun): a person/company who gives or supplies something - ผู้ให้

provider (noun): a company that "provides" some service to customers -

recently (adverb): not long ago - เมื่อไม่นานมานี้, เมื่อเร็วๆ นี้

rehabilitation : the process of returning someone or something to a good or healthy condition, state or way of living - การทำให้กลับสู่สภาพเดิม, การทำให้กลับมาดีเหมือนเดิม

robotic (adj): connected with robots (machines that can perform a complicated series of tasks automatically) - เกี่ยวกับหุ่นยนต์

robotics : the science of designing and operating robots - การออกแบบหุ่นยนต์

shrink : to become smaller, or to make something smaller - หดตัว, เล็กลง

similar : like somebody/something but not exactly the same - คล้ายกัน

statement : something that you say or write that gives information or an opinion - แถลงการณ์, คำแถลง

stride : walking with long steps in a particular direction - การเดินก้าวยาวๆ

substantially (adj): by a large amount - เป็นชิ้นเป็นอัน

support : to give help, encouragement or sympathy to somebody - สนับสนุน, เป็นกำลังใจ

thigh : the top part of your leg, above your knee - ต้นขา

total : including everything; being the amount or number after everyone or everything is counted or added together - ทั้งหมด

waist : the middle part of the body that is narrower than the parts above and below   - เอว

with an eye on : planning to do something with some thing or some person -

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