Robohub.org
 

Robots for Humanity inspires

by
12 February 2015



share this:
Robots_for_Humanity_R4H

Henry Evans had a brain stem stroke in 2002 that left him quadriplegic. Since then he has turned to robotics to unlock his abilities. Robots For Humanity (R4H.org) is a project that chronicles Henry’s quest to find robotics solutions to augment and improve his life, and that of other people with disabilities, to “let people perform at their best”. 

An event commemorating the project was hosted by Silicon Valley Robotics at Highway 1 last night, featuring guest talks by Evans and Steve Cousins, who helped Evans to co-found the project while he was CEO at Willow Garage. Steve Cousins is now the CEO of Savioke, a service and elder care robotics startup.

Henry spoke via BEAM telepresence device from Suitable Technologies. And some of the audience also attended via BEAM. Henry has also given TED talks via BEAM, and we were lucky enough to hear his new talk, which introduces ‘tele-tourism’ (no more spoilers) and describes the wide range of robotics or smart hardware solutions that Henry has inspired roboticists to build for him.

The original Robots For Humanity project involved using a PR2 to help Henry shave himself and scratch itches. But it’s not realistic to have a $400,000 robot in the house to scratch your nose, especially given the size of the robot! Since then, Henry has got a much simpler ‘Scratchbot’. He has also taken to flying drones and working with FXPAL, the Fuji Xerox multimedia research group on the Polly project.

polly-med-300x199

Polly is a wearable telepresence device, consisting of a smartphone on a stabilized gimbal. The viewing angle can be adjusted via remote control. The device can be carried by hand or on shoulder or perched on surfaces. The presence of a human operator allows for more social interaction in the telepresence experience.

The audience was inspired by the event and I don’t want to ruin the TED talk by saying anymore. But Henry still has plenty of suggestions for research projects that he’d like to see in his life and many of them are ‘simple’ things. Things like being able to control an automated bed with an eye tracking interface, not a remote control. Or to use a head mounted pointer to turn lights on and off.

These are simple things with a very big impact. And sometimes they are expensive things to build, but the impact that they have is priceless.

“If you want something, you look for options. If you don’t want it, you look for excuses.” – Henry Evans

Evans also summed it up nicely in a video that is posted on the Robots for Humanity website: “It’s up to all of us to decide how we want robotics to be used – for good or for evil, for replacing people or for making people better.”

 

 



tags: , , , , , , ,


Andra Keay is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics, founder of Women in Robotics and is a mentor, investor and advisor to startups, accelerators and think tanks, with a strong interest in commercializing socially positive robotics and AI.
Andra Keay is the Managing Director of Silicon Valley Robotics, founder of Women in Robotics and is a mentor, investor and advisor to startups, accelerators and think tanks, with a strong interest in commercializing socially positive robotics and AI.





Related posts :



Looking beyond “technology for technology’s sake”

Whether building robots or helping to lead the National Society of Black Engineers, senior Austen Roberson is thinking about the social implications of his field.
08 December 2022, by

Estimating manipulation intentions to ease teleoperation

Introducing an intention estimation model that relies on both gaze and motion features.
06 December 2022, by and

Countering Luddite politicians with life (and cost) saving machines

Beyond aerial tricks, drones are now being deployed in novel ways to fill the labor gap of menial jobs that have not returned since the pandemic.
04 December 2022, by

Call for robot holiday videos 2022

That’s right! You better not run, you better not hide, you better watch out for brand new robot holiday videos on Robohub!
02 December 2022, by

The Utah Bionic Leg: A motorized prosthetic for lower-limb amputees

Lenzi’s Utah Bionic Leg uses motors, processors, and advanced artificial intelligence that all work together to give amputees more power to walk, stand-up, sit-down, and ascend and descend stairs and ramps.

Touch sensing: An important tool for mobile robot navigation

Proximal sensing often is a blind spot for most long range sensors such as cameras and lidars for which touch sensors could serve as a complementary modality.
29 November 2022, by





©2021 - ROBOTS Association


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association