Researchers with the University of Oklahoma have developed robot of sorts that shows promise in improving the capabilities of infants with cerebral palsy.
The Robot at a Glance
Called the Self-Initiated Prone Progression Crawler (SIPPC), the device essentially sits upon a padded motorized skateboard and has a machine-learning algorithm.
Its exoskeleton is made to help children crawl around and explore their environment – in essence giving the child a boost to encourage brain development and to build upon motor skills.
Infants using the robot are fitted with a small cap with electrodes that track activity of the brain, which medical assistants can track in 3D on a computer.
To illustrate the capabilities of the robot, its 12 movement sensors send data 50 times per second to a nearby computer while its cameras shows the movement of all limbs at any particular time.
An Extra Boost for a Larger World
The machine-learning algorithm enables the device to actually predict the infant’s intentions for movement so that the robot can help when necessary.
For example, if the infant attempts a particular movement but doesn’t quite have the strength to carry it out, the robot will provide a bit of a nudge for added strength.
One OU researcher said, “Infants with cerebral palsy often lack the muscle strength and motor coordination for early exploratory movement. Crawling is so important for an infant because the world suddenly seems like a much bigger place. Without the positive feedback (from the robot), development of neural pathways for limb use is diminished.”
Funding for the robotic project has been provided by the National Science Foundation’s National Robotics Initiative.
If Your Child Developed Cerebral Palsy Due To Someone Else’s Negligence, Call The Fitzgerald Law Firm
We applaud the efforts of the researchers at OU for improving the lives of children with cerebral palsy; it’s an area we’re definitely passionate about.
If your child has developed cerebral palsy due to negligence of someone else, you should know that The Fitzgerald Law Firm will be aggressive in thoroughly investigating your case and in the pursuit of compensation.
Call us for a free consultation at 800-323-9900.