Robotic assistance: how it can lead to independent disability lifestyle

Autonomy is the essence of independent living, and a diverse of assistive devices and robotic assistance already exist to help people with different physical disabilities achieve this. But most of them are designed to be used for people who have at least some upper limbs strength and it requires users to push buttons on a hand-held remote control, for instance. This makes devices both inaccessible and risky for persons with less limbs strength. The most prominent challenges add accessible and multimodal interaction, safety, privacy, affordability, intelligence and etc.

There are a wide variety of assistive technologies for input control, and based on the nature of different disability, some users may prefer a trackball mouse whereas others prefer speech recognition or may be eyes tracking system. Another core design consideration is to decide when it is acceptable for robots to override user commands or not follow instructions. Since the potentiality of robotic devices beyond the speed and force of human beings movement, safety is of great concern a user may not be able to respond rapidly and effectively when the robot behaves unexpectedly.

One of the most desiderate aspects of the human involvement is to be independent the ability to take care of one’s self establishes a feel of dignity and freedom, and will profound the sense of independence. The important goal is to bring robotic assistive devices into the real world where the device would be able to support individuals with different disabilities and reduce the workload of caregivers, with the ultimate vision of helping people with drastic physical disabilities to achieve physical independence without relying on others and there by helps to build a inclusive society without physical barriers. As robotic assistive devices become ubiquitous, they will help people with severe physical disabilities to easily use technology in their daily lives, not just to survive, but to conquer new heights.

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