VGo can attend school for children who can't. Press to learn more about VGO.
Robots are coming to the aid of people with disabilities. They are being used in schools, homes, hospitals and to provide daily assistance.
A robot can be defined as a programmable, self-controlled device consisting of electronic, electrical, or mechanical units. More generally, it is a machine that functions in place of a living agent. Robots are especially desirable for certain work functions because, unlike humans, they never get tired; they can endure physical conditions that are uncomfortable or even dangerous; they can operate in airless conditions; they do not get bored by repetition; and they cannot be distracted from the task at hand.
The concept of robots is a very old one yet the actual word robot was invented in the 20th century from the Czechoslovakian word robota or robotnik meaning slave, servant, or forced labor. Robots don't have to look or act like humans but they do need to be flexible so they can perform different tasks.
For example, Toyota has developedthe Partner Robot and the Human Support Robot, VGoCommunications has developed VGo andthe Center for Healthcare Robotics at Georgia Tech in Atlanta is developing a robot called Elevated-Engagement (El-E for short).
The Partner Robot has a compact, cylindrical body, so it can turn round in small spaces, as well as folding arms, which can do tasks such as fetching objects and opening curtains. The robot is controlled easily, by using the touch interface on a smartphone or speech recognition. It can also be controlled remotely by a caregiver, while communicating with the user. The robot's height can vary between 83cm and 1.3m, so it can reach things in high places. When the robot picks something up, it can also use a suction mechanism, so it can handle thin objects like paper as well.
The Human Support Robot is a 70 pound 'droid designed to help the elderly and peoplewith disabilities around the home. The tablet-and-voice-controlled unit can open your curtains, fetch items and even pick up after you, thanks to its single telescopic arm that stretches up to 2.5 feet. A tablet slot on top of its head lets you use the hardware as a telepresence device.
VGo can replicate a person in a distant location. See, hear, talk and move around as if you were there. It can be used by doctors, nurses, teachers, students, remote workers and so forth
Consider having a domestic robot that picks up household objects and brings it to you. All you do is point a Star Wars-like green laser at the object. When the robot sees the beam of light, it says, “Detected laser pointer.” Once it locates the object itself, it lets you know by saying, “Ding,” and grasps the object with its laser-equipped hand. Once it’s delivered to you or elsewhere in the house, the robot returns to your side, awaiting the next command. El-E is guided by laser commands that can pick up objects of varying heights and navigate in a room it’s never been in before. Professor Charles Kemp, director of the Center for Healthcare Robotics at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, leads El-E’s creative team that includes students from his university lab and professors from other universities. The group has been working closely with Jonathan Glass, a neurology professor at Emory University in Atlanta and director of the Emory ALS Center. The five-foot-seven-inch El-E can see, hear, push, pull, open doors, respond to voice commands, and speak. It has a built-in camera and four sensors to detect objects. The prototype El-E is being tested in the homes of disabled people, particularly those with ALS. The trials have been successful, enabling people with disabilities to live more independently. In 94% of homes, El-E picked up and delivered the requested object. Kemp’s team is working on enabling El-E to find and retrieve objects among clutter. El-E comes with options for disabled people who have partial or no arm and hand control. Users may choose to use a touch pad or a head-mounted laser to give commands to the robot. VGo enables students to attend school from a distance. Injuries, extended illnesses, immune deficiencies and other physical challenges prevent a student from physically being able to attend school. School districts try to accommodate these special needs by working providing on-line courses, in-home tutors, special busing, videoconferencing and more. But these are expensive and very limiting since students miss out on the classroom experience and social life that comes with attending school. Now, they can participate in classroom discussions and share in the social aspects of locker-side chats, lunch period and moving from class to class.
Lyndon Baty attends high school in Knox City, TX. His illness prevents him from attending school, VGo attends classes for him. In the morning from his home, Lyndon gets on his computer instead of the bus. VGo interacts with his teachers and classmates. Lyndon operates VGo with an internet connected computer with audio capabilities and a web camera.
What does Baty think of VGo?
“Without VGo, I would not be in school and there would not be a future,” said Baty.
VGo runs an entire day without being charged.
VGo opens up creates social and educational environments that historically prevented students confined to their homes from attending school, VGo removes once inaccessible obstacles.
VGo’s two-way audio/video communications combined with remote controlled mobility allow doctors, nurse and social workers to check on patients without being there physic ally.
Nursing homes and assisted living communities
Ten million sons and daughters care for their parents living in nursing homes or assistive living communities. Many do it long distance. Robots can help them stay in touch. In fact nurses rate video communication between parents and their children very high.
Nurse Janet Benson says this about audio/video communication between parents and children, “Besides being physically present, two way communication, such as VGo offers, is the best medicine I know between siblings and parents..”
Retired US Army veteran Larry Goldstein says this about robots, “I have seen them work wonders with patients. Goldstein is a former Army medic. who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.