Assistive Technology Development

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Through extensive research and a comprehensive review of commercial robots, the AT Lab developed design specifications for a robot specifically for children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy.

Lego Robots – Due to the high cost of industrial or educational robots ($10,000 or more), the use of the results of the previous studies was limited. The Lego Mindstorms Robotic Invention System™ ($300) is a tool that children with a motor impairment can use in school or at home.

Virtual Robots – Even low cost robots can be difficult to distribute in some areas, such as developing nations where the cost of even the most inexpensive robots is out of reach. The AT Lab is evaluating the use of an on screen virtual robot, which will potentially provide the same type of interaction as demonstrated with a physical robot.

Integrating robots with other AT – Children who use speech generating devices for their complex communication needs often have to put the device aside to play unlike typical children who talk while they play. The AT Lab is evaluating how the integration of spontaneous robotic play and communication can enhance the play and learning environment for the child.