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Honda Unveils New Robot Walker

The Honda Motor Company has displayed for the first time a new computerized walker machine, designed to help factory workers and the elderly.

The machine which weighs 6.5 kilos, has a saddle, leg-frames and shoes. It reduces the weight of a user's legs making it easier to climb and descend stairs, as well as carry out difficult crouching positions.

A user sits on the saddle puts on the shoes, and pushes a start button, which then moves the users legs. The device is driven by a computer, has a motor and gears, and battery powered sensors that respond to a user's movements.

Honda says it will start using the machine at a factory in Japan.

The device is also expected help elderly people. Japan has a rapidly aging population and also leads the world in robot technology.

In 2000 Honda developed the first two-legged walking robot called ASIMO. Honda says some of the same technology was used in the newer device.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.