30 September 2009
Baby Robot Wheelchairs
At the University of Delaware in the United States, researchers have come up with a mini robot-like wheelchair for toddlers.
Babies as young as six months old have been able to operate the wheelchairs, which are controlled by a joystick.
They have been tested on children with Spina Bifida, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Autism.
Researchers say that moving around and exploring the world is a healthy part of a baby’s brain development, children who can’t walk or have mobility problems, often miss out on normal toddler activities. With the robot wheelchair, they can gain some mobility and move around and chase their siblings, parents and pets just like any other toddler.
The wheelchair is equipped with infra red sensors so the chair avoids hazards and also has a camera attached to it to see the child’s expressions as they explore.
This is such a great idea, I wish there was something around like this when I was a baby, because of my bones being so brittle, a lot of times, I had to be kept away from other children in case they fell on me, and crawling around when I was very young was almost impossible.
To view the entire story and watch the video of the wheelchair in action, click here - http://www.wndu.com/mmm/headlines/62714672.html