Babies driving robot wheelchairs (super cute video)

[Video Link]

Here's an amazing feel-good video with which to end your week, via the National Science Foundation. The really awesome footage starts around a minute and a half in.

"James C. (Cole) Galloway, associate professor of physical therapy, and Sunil Agrawal, professor of mechanical engineering -- have outfitted kid-size robots to provide mobility to children who are unable to fully explore the world on their own."

The robotic assistance devices are designed to help infants whose mobility and independence is limited by conditions such as autism, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy.

I understand that these will be among the many exhibits on display at the USA Science Fest at the Washington, DC Convention Center on Sat., April 28th. Babies probably not included.


    1. Yep, I went straight there too, especially when you factor in the lack of exercise from using it.

  1. This looks a project that Makers could do!  Although they would need to do a fair amount of QA before handing it over to babies.

  2. Not commercially available yet? Perfect! All I have to do is shove a chair and a joystick on a roomba and I can beat this to market!

  3. Not to detract from the wonderfulness of this, but I can’t help but remember this comedic video about completely unnecessary baby wheelchairs: 

  4. I know I should find this heartwarming, but I think I feel about this the same way you feel about lemonade stand-funded chemotherapy.

    Yea, it’s great, but it just makes me sad.

  5. I’m glad i wasn’t the only one to think dalek.  I mean, great biotech and all, but the resemblance is uncanny.

  6. My first thought wasn’t Daleks, but shell people, cf. Anne McCaffrey’s “The Ship Who Sang”.

  7. I notice that the chair moves forward when the joystick is pulled toward the user, or in the “down” direction if it were a video game controller. Is this the normal setup for a motorized wheelchair? I would have expected the opposite.

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