Document Detail

Development of robotic mobility for infants: rationale and outcomes.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22898580     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
OBJECTIVES: To assess the feasibility of a robotic mobility device for infants using alternative control interfaces aimed at promoting early self-initiated mobility, and to assess the effects of a training protocol and robot experience.
DESIGN: Observational and pre-post quantitative case studies.
SETTING: Standardised, research laboratory and day-care centres with toys and individuals familiar to infants.
PARTICIPANTS: Children with and without disabilities, aged 5 months to 3 years.
INTERVENTIONS: In each study, infants were seated over a Pioneer™ 3-DX mobile robot. Some infants controlled the directional movement of the robot by weight shifting their body on a Nintendo® Wii™ Balance Board (the WeeBot), while others used a modified joystick. Infants participated in five sessions over 2 to 5 weeks. Sessions consisted of administering a 10-minute training protocol preceded and followed by 2 to 3minutes of free play. One child with motor impairment used a button switch array and a different experimental design.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: From the videotaped free-play periods, goal-directed behaviours were coded and time in motion was measured. In the training period, a scoring system was developed to measure the infants' driving performance.
RESULTS: Preliminary outcomes indicate that infants without disabilities, aged 5 to 10 months, demonstrated significant improvement in driving performance and goal-directed movement using the WeeBot. Infants who used the joystick were less successful on all measures. Results for infants with disabilities using the WeeBot were mixed.
CONCLUSIONS: Mobile robots offer promise to enhance the development of early self-mobility. Novel types of interfaces, such as the WeeBot, warrant further investigation.
Hélène M Larin; Carole W Dennis; Sharon Stansfield
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2012-07-27
Journal Detail:
Title:  Physiotherapy     Volume:  98     ISSN:  1873-1465     ISO Abbreviation:  Physiotherapy     Publication Date:  2012 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-08-17     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0401223     Medline TA:  Physiotherapy     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  230-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Department of Physical Therapy, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, USA.
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