Watch The Future of Prosthetics: Mind-Bending Robotic Arms on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
The May 16th PBS NewsHour program featured the latest developments of the BrainGate project, which has the potential to enable handicapped individuals to utilize and regain control, and interaction with, the world around them.
Zachary Thomason, a 12 year old student with X-linked myotubular myopathy, a rare illness that has left him effectively a prisoner in his own body unable to attend school or engage in normal activities for a boy his age, will be attending school using a remote telepresence robot developed by VGO.
Basic assumptions, whether explicitly defined or not, often determine the eventual success, or failure, of all research and design projects. It's all too easy for an engineer to make assumptions that don't bear out in the real world. It's also very common for corporate management to dedicate huge budgets to projects built on faulty logic.
After watching, and thinking about, some of the patient assistance robotic technology showcased yesterday by Toyota, I really have to wonder what their original design assumptions were. A good example is the Toyota Patient Transfer Assist Robot.