Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Babies & Robots: Infant Power Mobility On Display

Date:
February 16, 2009
Source:
University of Delaware
Summary:
Children with mobility issues, like cerebral palsy and spina bifida, can't explore the world like other babies, because they can't crawl or walk. Infant development emerges from the thousands of daily discoveries experienced by babies as they move and explore their worlds.

Andrew takes his power chair for a spin.
Credit: Tyler Jacobson, University of Delaware

Children with mobility issues, like cerebral palsy and spina bifida, can’t explore the world like other babies, because they can’t crawl or walk. Infant development emerges from the thousands of daily discoveries experienced by babies as they move and explore their worlds.

Mobility-deprived kids start exploring when they can operate a traditional power wheelchair, typically at age 3 or often older.

Research done by University of Delaware researchers is turning that on its head and could potentially change the way these children’s brains develop.

Physical therapy professor Cole Galloway and mechanical engineering professor Sunil Agrawal have developed tiny power chairs babies as young as 6 months can operate using a joystick.

Now, they’ve paired with Permobil, a national producer of power chairs, and outfitted a chair for toddlers.

Galloway will be showcasing this research February 10 in Las Vegas at the American Physical Therapy Association’s Combined Sections Meeting.

A 17-month-old boy, Andrew, who’s been driving the robots for more than a year, will be on hand to demonstrate the technology. On an average day, Andrew uses his chair to navigate his home and the outside world. He is ready to attend pre-K next year, impressive progress for a child with spina bifida.

Galloway believes providing mobility to children who wouldn’t have it otherwise could impact their lives in countless ways, especially when you consider the rapid brain development during infancy.

“Babies literally build their own brains through their exploration and learning in the complex world,” he says. “Their actions, feelings and thinking all shape their own brain’s development.

“Mobility is linked to widespread advances in cognitive development and learning abilities in typically developing infants.”

The University of Delaware has filed patents and is working to bring to market a robot-enhanced mini wheelchair for children aged 6 months-2 years.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Delaware. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins