A model demonstrates how the rehabilitation-assist robot Welwalk WW-1000, developed by Japan's Toyota Motor Corporation, helps to assist in flexing and extending the knee while walking on a treadmill during a press preview in Tokyo on April 12, 2017. Toyota Motor Corporation announced that the company will launch a rental service for the Welwalk WW-1000 robot from the fall of 2017. The Welwalk WW-1000 is designed to aid in the rehabilitation of individuals with lower limb paralysis as a result of stroke and other causes. / AFP PHOTO / Kazuhiro NOGI (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

Toyota is introducing a new robotic leg brace called the Welwalk WW-1000 that can help patients with partial paralysis affecting one side of their body walk again. The robotic exoframe is worn on the affected leg, with a large motor component at the knee joint that provides just enough assistance to the patient, letting them recover their own walking ability therapeutically over time.
The robotic wearable is paired with a custom treadmill and a harness that is anchored above the patient, with medical staff able to watch and control the whole apparatus from a convenient touchscreen input device. The Associated Press reports that the Welwalk system will be made available to medical institutions in Japan later this year, with a rental model that charges a one-time fee of around $9,000 and then $3,200 after that on a monthly basis. Those costs are not overly burdensome by …