It's nice to see Japanese scientists developing technology that can actually help the elderly help themselves for a change, rather than creating more robots that ostensibly are designed to minister to their needs but may well have ulterior motives. To wit: Honda is developing a lightweight walking assistance device that can be worn around the hip and thighs to help ease a person's gait.
The mechanism works with brushless motors that get their cues from hip angle sensors and commands from the control CPU, according to press release. Being that this is Japan, however--the land that's headed for a human-free society--a robot's influence was still key to this invention. Fareastgizmos says that the R&D that went into Asimo, Honda's celebrity "advanced humoid robot," was used in developing this automated walker.