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Robotics Hardware Science

Robot Helps Quadriplegic Scratch an Itch 27

An anonymous reader writes "Georgia Tech's Healthcare Robotics Lab and Willow Garage have been collaborating with Henry Evans, who became a mute quadriplegic after suffering a stroke 10 years ago, to use a PR2 robot as his surrogate. The robot is allowing him to do things like shave himself and scratch itches when he has them, things for which he's been dependent on other people. Henry uses a head tracker to directly move the robot's body, including its arms and head, or invoke autonomous actions, such as navigating in a room or fetching objects. The researchers hope personal robots will allow people with severe physical disabilities to live better and gain more independence."
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Robot Helps Quadriplegic Scratch an Itch

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  • watch the video (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jarik C-Bol ( 894741 ) on Saturday July 16, 2011 @07:57PM (#36789546)
    you gotta watch the video. You've probably never seen a man so happy to put a razor to his face.
  • A good first step. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VortexCortex ( 1117377 ) <VortexCortex&project-retrograde,com> on Saturday July 16, 2011 @11:45PM (#36790588)

    However useful helper bots may be, clearly you can see that the technology must eventually be -inside- the quadriplegics or otherwise severely injured individuals.

    I mean, it's great to have a robot you can use to help take care of yourself, but wouldn't it be better to just be able to take care of yourself sans robot assistant?

    I find it very interesting and just a bit ironic that in nearly all the science fiction works the cyborgs are less "human", whereas in reality cybernetics enable those with disabilities to be more human, and lead lives that are more normal.

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