Reliance on Robots

Wrong or right, some persons with disabilities (PWDs) are becoming ‘open’ to robotic assistance nowadays.

For they would need help in dressing up. They would need to feel and control. They would need to move. They would need someone to fold the laundry for them, sort socks, and act ‘a little more human.’

Assistive mobile manipulators (AMMs) are mobile robots that aid PWDs. They can ‘manipulate the world’ and serve as ‘surrogates’ for them. Two of the most popular robots today are Jake and El-E (pronounced Ellie). The former can ‘shave, scratch, and get a towel’ for Henry Evans, a quadriplegic; while the latter can locate common household items ‘94.8% of the time.’

There are also “robot teachers” now. These “social robots,” as they are otherwise called, can teach various skills to preschool children, including the names of colors, vocabulary words and simple songs.  PWDs sickened with dementia can also be helped in clothing themselves – thanks to Dress (Develop a Responsive Emotive Sensing System).

Designed by Diane Mahoney, from the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, and Winslow Burleson, from Arizona State University, the Dress system can combine context-aware computing with motivational counseling to provide visual and audio cues to the user as needed. It is composed of a five-drawer dresser, an iPad on top, and iPhones on each drawer. There is also a wristband that the user has to wear so that the skin’s conductance can be monitored.

On the other hand, there is also a ‘motorized chair, aluminum arms with end-claws, and computer sensors’ that Rory Cooper, chairman of the University of Pittsburgh-School of Rehabilitation Sciences and Technology, built. Cooper has envisioned this to be able to ‘prepare an omelet’ after 10 years.

Robotics was intended to ‘achieve greater efficiencies or to reduce human exposure to risk.’ It should not replace humans in carrying tasks he or she could still learn to do in the first place.

“There are so many physically disabled but cognitively aware, very bright individuals. They’re just locked in these bodies that don’t work, so these technologies that can free them up to express their thoughts and feelings, to go where they want go and do what they want to do, those are just amazing things.” ~ Dan Rossi, associate executive director of United Cerebral Palsy of Pittsburgh

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the geobeats

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