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Augmented reality makes robots more useful for disabled people


A digital interface makes controlling robots user-friendly for those with severe motor impairments

Spotted: The Georgia Institute of Technology has found a simpler way to control complex robots. It could lead to the development of faster and more productive assistive robots for those with significant motor impairments.

The interface uses augmented reality to help control what is essentially a robotic body surrogate. It displays a “robot’s eye view” of surroundings, allowing the user to interact with the real world through the machine and control how it moves.

The robot used in testing, a PR2 mobile manipulator, is large, slow and has wheels, two arms and a head. It can perform tasks that some disabled people would otherwise find difficult. These include feeding oneself, scratching an itch and applying skin lotion. It is able to interact with objects including water bottles, hairbrushes and electric shavers.



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