Robotics For Better Disability Equipment

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Unfortunately, it’s been quite the struggle for people with disabilities to get the recognition and assistance that they need and deserve. Even today, with so many new inventions and technologies, assistive technology is often overlooked. Navigating day-to-day life for many disabled individuals is already difficult as it is!

However, things are starting to improve with recent advancements in technology, from wheelchair accessible vehicles to exceptional prosthetics and better education, and now, with the help of robotics.

Advanced wheelchairs
Wheelchairs are commonly used among many disabled individuals, and they’ve come a long way since the original manual style. The invention of the electric wheelchair is a technological advancement that has helped millions of people with disabilities across the world. It has given many people better mobility and enhanced self-sufficiency.

As technologically advanced as an electric wheelchair seems, there are ways to improve it, and there are companies working to do so! With the help of robotics, the electric wheelchair is evolving further. There are some that can be controlled visually for those that are disabled from the neck down, some that can “climb” up and down stairs, and some with all terrain drive and wheels to navigate environments that would otherwise be impossible for a wheelchair.

There are different kinds of robots that are helpful for people with disabilities and there is ongoing research being done into how to develop new interfaces to make robot control more seamless.

One of these types of robots are Care Robots which are used to provide care and support to the disabled (and elderly, when applicable) in place of, or supplemental, to caregivers. Early technology for these robots provided simple tasks, such as helping people in and out of bed, but is now being developed for more complex tasks, such as reminding patients when to take medication to even providing emotional support and social interaction. As a supplemental machine, care robots may also be able to assist nurses with their regular (but vital) tasks, from taking and recording blood pressure and temperature, to improving patient hygiene.

Machine learning
Do you have Siri, Alexa, or something similar? Even if you don’t personally use these devices or software, you’ve likely heard of them and understand their purpose. These Smart devices in your home and on your phone are intended to make your everyday life easier. This technology can be used and adapted to help those with disabilities to give them more independence.

Machine learning is just like it sounds, it’s the ability for the machine to learn and adapt with repeated use. Machines are now able to learn algorithms to understand images, sounds, languages, and so on, which can help people with different kinds of disabilities improve their day-to-day life.

A Better Tomorrow
Technology is constantly evolving. Some of these ideas are at the beginning stages of conception and may only have one prototype. Some may be too expensive at the initial launch to even be plausible for the average person (and unlikely to be covered by insurance), but others are more accessible and already in-use. It’s fantastic that technology for better adaptive and disability equipment is being developed and hopefully, over-time, the more advanced tools and machines will be commonplace and easy to acquire.

If you have questions, or need help selecting your next wheelchair accessible vehicle or adaptive equipment, don’t hesitate to contact R&J Mobility. We’re here for you!

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