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Toyota rehab robots to help an aging Japan back onto its feet

Rental service planned, but cost and safety concerns persist

Toyota's rehabilitation robot helps speed the recovery process for patients relearning how to walk.

NAGOYA -- Toyota Motor will rent out a rehabilitation robot designed to help people with lower-limb paralysis walk again, the automaker said Wednesday.

The Welwalk WW-1000 obtained approval for use as a medical device last November. Toyota will begin rentals to medical institutions this fall, targeting 100 units across Japan in three years. An initial fee of 1 million yen ($9,127) will be followed by a monthly charge of 350,000 yen. While cost remains an issue for medical institutions, Toyota plans to eventually get the robot into all 1,500 of Japan's rehabilitation facilities.

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