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---- PROTOTYPE --------- PURPOSE: To design a prototype of a mobility device for babies and young children with physical and mobility disabilities. Researchers and designers at the Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY have designed and developed a prototype device that allows children with physical and mobility disabilities to explore greater independence as part of the Tots on Bots project. They created the WeeBot using a baby seat that is then strapped onto a Wii Fit Balance Board that sits on top of a Pioneer 3 platform. The WeeBot is equipped with built-in sonar which keeps babies safe by avoiding collisions. The robo-chair incorporates the Wii Fit Balance Board’s pressure sensors in each of four corners and built-in Bluetooth capabilities. The developers used a commercial Bluetooth adapter and WiiYourself! C++ library (ti) to access the balance board data within the robotics software. The software compares the values of the four pressure sensors to determine which, if any, direction the infant is leaning. When a sustained lean is detected, the robot begins to move in that direction. When the child reaches out for an item, he or she leans in the direction of the item and moves toward it. Since each child moves in a different way, the robo-chair can be customized. Additionally, parents and/or therapists can use a wireless joystick as a master override switch if needed. This device offers babies and young children with physical and mobility disabilities to interact and explore their environment, socialize with others, initiate independent movement, and participate in the cognitive learning experiences associated with mobility. AUTHOR: Tessa. TITLE: Cool Hacked Wii Gadget Allows Babies [with disabilities] to Drive Robots. WEBSITE: NCPAD Blog. REF: http://blog.ncpad.org/2010/11/18/cool-hacked-wii-gadget-allows-babies-to....
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