Seeing through a Robot’s Eyes Helps Those with Profound Motor Impairments

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Image shows the view through the PR2’s cameras showing the environment around the robot. Clicking the yellow disc allows users the control the arm. (Credit: Phillip Grice, Georgia Tech)

Showing its capabilities as a body surrogate, a PR2 controlled remotely by an individual with profound motor deficits picks up a cup in a research laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology. (Credit: Phillip Grice, Georgia Tech)

Robotic body surrogates can help people with profound motor deficits interact with the world. Here, Henry Evans, a California man who helped Georgia Tech researchers with improvements to a web-based interface, uses the robot to shave himself. (Credit: Henry Clever/Phillip Grice, Georgia Tech)

The PR2 robot used in this study has sophisticated arms and hands capable of precisely manipulating objects – and can even hold an electric shaver. (Credit: Phillip Grice, Georgia Tech)

The PR2 is a research and development robot that has two arms and a head on a wheeled base that allows it to move around the environment. (Credit: Phillip Grice, Georgia Tech)

An interface system that uses augmented reality technology could help individuals with profound motor impairments operate a humanoid robot to feed themselves and perform routine personal care tasks such as scratching an itch and applying skin lotion. The web-based interface displays a “robot’s eye view” of surroundings to help users interact with the world through the machine.