How Robots Are Transforming the Lives of Motor-Impaired Individuals
Robots usually inspire images of unfeeling metal men taking over the world. Yet, they serve as essential companions for daily life, especially for the elderly and injured.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed robots that help people with impaired limbs grab and move objects.
The best part is they can receive and understand voice commands. Soon, people might be able to control robots with their thoughts alone!
What are the most recent ways robotics help older and impaired people?
Experts from Carnegie Mellon University have created a device that can help people who cannot move their arms and legs.
It is a head-worn device called the Head-Worn Assistive Teleoperation. In other words, these robotics researchers have created a HAT that assists impaired people!
The gadget has a hands-free microphone and a head-worn sensor that lets a person control a robot arm using speech recognition and head motion.
Let’s say you’re wearing the HAT. You can move the robot by bobbing your head. For example, face left, and the robot will turn left.
Then, you may tell the robot to change into one of four modes: drive, arm, wrist, and gripper. Use the drive function to move the robot towards you.
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As the name suggests, the arm mode turns the robotic arm. Next, the wrist turns the hand or gripper attached to the end.
Once you get the robot “hand’ close to your intended object, use the gripper mode to grasp it. Afterward, you could use the other settings to get it close to you.
The Carnegie Mellon robotics invention is only one of the many projects in development for people with disabilities.
Also, Steven Uecke, the CEO of SuperDroid Robots, shared a project with a similar goal in an email interview.
He is developing a telepresence humanoid robot to enable someone in a wheelchair to perform manual labor.
Of course, we cannot complete this robotics discussion without Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who claimed: “humanoid robots could eventually outnumber humans.”
Contrary to popular belief, we could see that happen one day because robotics is more affordable than ever.
Elad Inbar, the CEO of Robotlab, said, “robots for these purposes have become much more capable and accessible to the public.”