Special Issue on Assistive Device Technologies
Research ScientistAssistive Device Technology Group,Institute for Human Science and Biomedical Engineering,National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Tchnology (AIST), AIST Tsukuba East, 1-2-1, Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8564 Japan
Technologies for supporting a healthy lifestyle for the elderly and disabled are needed to keep them mentally and physically independent and to help them take part in society. The issue of a rapidly aging society has, in fact, become a major national problem. This special issue focuses on assistive device technologies for the elderly and disabled. Contributed and invited papers have been carefully reviewed by journal referees and 13 papers selected for publication in the Journal of Robotics and Mechatronics Special Issue on Human Assistive Technologies (Vol. 14, No. 6). The first 4 papers, by Hashino, Yamada et al., Miyawaki et al., and Noritsugu et al., outline the development of new mobile equipment based on novel mobile mechanisms. The next 4 articles, authored by Wenwei et al., Ohga et al., Kato et al., and Hagihara et al., deal with prostheses and orthoses. In 2 more papers, by Homma et al. and Shinomiya et al., the focus is on rehabilitation and training equipment, while in the 11th article, Kanamori et al. report on the operating “feel” of a man-machine system to improve the maneuverability of the human interface. The last 2 papers, authored by Kobayashi et al. and Fukuda et al., detail an automatic diagnosis system based on biomedical information measured from the human body. We thank the authors who have so kindly contributed their papers to this special issue, and the reviewers who have made this publication possible. Our special thanks go to Editor-in-Chief Prof. Makoto Kaneko of Hiroshima University, who provided the opportunity for editing this issue. We expect this issue to help readers to better understand new trends in assistive device technologies and to further their interest in this most robust and innovative research field.
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