Thursday, April 05, 2007

Robotic Haptic Interface

Perhaps not as well-known as other types of disabilities, but Developmental Coordination Disorder (also known as dyspraxia) has caused difficulties for about 5% of the children in mastering coordination tasks, such as catching a ball, tying shoelaces and standing on one foot. Recent robotic research and development has come up with a device to teach coordination to children who having such problem. Firstly, certain tasks will be designed by therapists to challenge the eye-hand coordination of individuals. One example is handwriting. The children will hold the robotic arm and perform the task shown on the screen. The robotic arm will follow designed trajectories and provide resistance, thus simulate the effort that is required to perform such task. The robotic arm joined with the computer is known as a robotic haptic interface that incorporate the sense of touching to help children develop their eye-hand coordination. The user will be able to “feel” the virtual environment that is shown on the screen. With this equipment, the children can practice their coordination repeatedly in interesting tasks. This type of robotic therapy becomes a popular research area in rehabilitation robotics. The pictures show the prototype of such robot in performing handwriting task. Further research and development will enhance such system to perform more complicated tasks. Jin Peng U036569E

7 comments:

jp said...

Is there really a need to design a robot for this purpose? Will a human therapist suffice for this in terms of cost and effectiveness.
But I think the gadget itself may be quite attractive especially to kids and thus perhaps are more receptive to this treatment.

Sim Jian Ping
U036080A

Home said...

Perhaps I feel this is just an example for allowing patients receive therapy at home. Patients with coordination problems will have difficulties travelling to the therapist for treatment. The main concern will be the cost of this device, and hopefully it can be cheaper in future.

Choo Teck Kwang Adrian U036224U

Anonymous said...

In accordance to jian ping's comments, I think that although a human therapist may do the job. However, I doubt one could afford to pay a therapist everytime the child needs to write. The robot seems portable enough to accompany the child anywhere to learn those eye-hand coordination. So, if this robot is affordable, it will definately be of great help to the parents whose child suffers from the Developmental Coordination Disorder.

Anonymous said...

In accordance to jian ping's comments, I think that although a human therapist may do the job. However, I doubt one could afford to pay a therapist everytime the child needs to write. The robot seems portable enough to accompany the child anywhere to learn those eye-hand coordination. So, if this robot is affordable, it will definately be of great help to the parents whose child suffers from the Developmental Coordination Disorder.

Ng Zhihong
U036095H

Assistive said...

As what Adrian and Zhihong commented, the device is probably more suitable for home therapy, especially for children who need repeated practice, it will be much cheaper than seeing the therapist once a week. Hope that answers your doubt, Jian Ping.

This is just a prototype in such kind of therapy robotic interface. It still can be developed into other types of robotic system to aid for different treatments.

Industry said...

This robot could probably do more than just giving therapy for patient. With special design and consideration, It could help train people's special skills. I think that will have more market than just being a robotic therapist for a certain disorder.

Li Chao U037130N

Assistive said...

Sometimes robots are good for a task like this. They have their disadvantages too. Adaptability and customization to every child's needs would be a problem. Not everyone learns at the same rate and in the same way. An experienced therapist would be able to adapt to the situation, something that is very difficult for a robot to do.

Harish Kumar Koundinya
U037793N