In yet another technological breakthrough in health care, a robotic wheelchair is being developed that will help children learn to 'drive'.
Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation describe the testing of ROLY -RObot-assisted Learning for Young drivers - in a group of children without disabilities and one child with cerebral palsy.
Laura Marchal-Crespo, worked with a team of researchers at the University of California at Irvine, USA, to carry out the study. She said, "The conventional approach for powered wheelchair driver's training is expensive and labor-intense, typically requiring the hand-over-hand assistance of a skilled therapist. To lower the cost and improve accessibility to training, we have developed a robotic powered wheelchair system on which young children with a disability can safely develop driving skills at their own pace with minimum assistance".