Willow Garage, the Healthcare Robotics Lab at Georgia Tech, and Henry and Jane Evans developed a new project , called Robots for Humanity.Henry Evans is a mute quadriplegic, having suffered a stroke when he was just 40 years old. Following extensive therapy, Henry regained the ability to move his head and use a finger, which allows him to operate computers. Now specialists exploring ways for Henry to use a PR2 robot as his surrogate. Currently, Henry uses a head tracker to operate a variety of experimental user interfaces. These interfaces allow him to directly move the robot’s body, including its arms and head. They also let him invoke autonomous actions, such as navigating in a room and reaching out to a location.
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With the aid of a PR2, Henry was able to scratch an itch for himself for the first time in 10 years and also Henry recently used the PR2 to shave his cheek.Robots that complement human abilities are extremely valuable, especially when they help us do things that we can’t do by ourselves.