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Teaching Robot Helps Children to Use Wheelchair - featured August 16, 2010

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ScienceDaily (Aug. 12, 2010) — A robotic wheelchair is being developed that will help children learn to 'drive'. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation describe the testing of ROLY -- RObot-assisted Learning for Young drivers -- in a group of children without disabilities and one child with cerebral palsy.

Laura Marchal-Crespo, worked with a team of researchers at the University of California at Irvine, USA, to carry out the study. She said, "The conventional approach for powered wheelchair driver's training is expensive and labor-intense, typically requiring the hand-over-hand assistance of a skilled therapist. To lower the cost and improve accessibility to training, we have developed a robotic powered wheelchair system on which young children with a disability can safely develop driving skills at their own pace with minimum assistance."

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Tags: Assistive Technology Orientation & Mobility News of the Week PT Newsletter 20 August 2010