Physical therapy,Cerebral palsy,Robot,Robotics

A Robot Physical Therapist Helps Kids with Cerebral Palsy

February 17, 2017
in Kids

A humanoid bot called Darwin shows how aspects of nursing and child care might be mechanized. A young girl in Atlanta manages the symptoms of cerebral palsy with regular physical therapy, which normally means a visit to a doctor’s office, or hours of boring, repetitive actions on her own. Recently though, she began taking instructions, at home, from a pint-sized robot physical therapist called Darwin. Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology are using robots to help children and adults meet their physical therapy goals. And they've found that combining a simple game with words of encouragement and physical cues from the robots provides a noticeable boost to patients’ efforts, compared to asking them to go through the work on their own. In the experiments, the researchers used a 3-D motion tracker to monitor a subject’s movements, with Darwin offering encouragement for the correct motions, or demonstrating if a person did them incorrectly. In all but one case, they found that using the robot helped increase physical activity significantly. “One of the primary issues with therapy is that kids aren’t getting enough of it," says Ayanna...

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