Honda Engineers Are Who Makes a Honda

Video Highlights Teamwork on Walking Assist Project

1/28/2016 4:00:00 PM

Two engineers leading Honda’s Walking Assist program in the United States are the subject of the newest profile in the What Makes a Honda is Who Makes a Honda video series. The latest in the series highlights the inspiring relationship between Honda R&D associates Hideaki Takahashi and Kenton Williams as they collaborate to advance this Honda Robotics technology.

The Walking Assist Device, part of the family of Honda Robotics technologies, was created to help users walk more efficiently and is designed to be used in walking therapy and training under the guidance of a doctor or therapist. Striving to offer the joy of mobility to more people, Honda began the research and development of the Walking Assist Device in 1999. Honda has leveraged the theory of human walking amassed from the research and development of ASIMO, Honda's advanced humanoid robot.

Takahashi, a native of Japan, worked on Honda's ASIMO project prior to transferring to Honda R&D Americas in Raymond, Ohio to work on the Walking Assist Device project.

Williams is a graduate of MIT's Mechanical Engineering master's program with a specialization in robotics. He said his interest in robotics was fueled when, as an Ohio State University undergrad, he attended a demonstration of ASIMO on the Ohio State campus.

Williams was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Takahashi, and said he appreciates how their individual strengths and cultural differences make the Walking Assist Device project stronger.

"Synergy is the best way to describe it," Williams said of their relationship.

Takahashi said Williams brings a compassionate perspective and understanding to the project, which is necessary. "We have a language barrier, and we also come from different cultural backgrounds," Takahashi said. "But of course, the common language is technology."

Their shared desire to help people with disabilities transcends any differences, he said.

"Walking is the most primitive, fundamental form of mobility. That's why it is important for Honda to continue to work on this product," Takahashi said. "I would like everyone to be able to walk… That is my wish."

The What Makes a Honda is Who Makes a Honda video series focuses on Honda's commitment to The Power of Dreams, a global theme that encourages Honda associates to conceive ideas that will create new value for customers and society and then show the determination to bring those dreams to life. In addition, the video series spotlights the varied careers within Honda and the inspiring efforts of Honda associates.

See the latest What Makes a Honda is Who Makes a Honda video on Honda's YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/Honda.

About Honda in North America
More than 39,000 Honda associates in North America design, develop, manufacture, market and support the servicing of Honda and Acura automobiles, Honda powersports products and Honda power equipment products.

Honda operates 14 R&D facilities in the region, including a major automobile and powersports R&D center in Raymond, Ohio, a power equipment R&D center in North Carolina and three design centers in Southern California. Honda also operates 18 manufacturing plants across North America, including eight auto plants that produced more than 99 percent of the Honda and Acura automobiles the company sold in America in 2015, using domestic and globally sourced parts.

Honda seeks to be a company that society wants to exist, creating products and technologies that improve the lives of people. Honda is also committed to making positive contributions to the communities where we do business, to socially responsible business practices and to the promotion of diversity and inclusion in our workforce.

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