Statistics point towards 800,000 new stroke victims each year, and this figure will frighteningly double over the next two decades. Having said that, one needs to be able to figure out an effective method to care for these patients. Researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) decided that they will come up with a robot to assist humans in the rehabilitation effort of stroke victims. The robot remains nameless at the moment, but you know what the Bard said – a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet, and if this robot is capable of gently coaxing and persuading stroke patients to perform their daily exercises, then half the battle is already won.
I guess to have a robot coach me would be a novel experience, and if I were to feel emotionally down and snappy for the day, the robot will not be affected as it cannot experience any emotions. On the downside, it is not able to emphatize with my more negative feelings, leaving us with a give and take situation. Enough rambling though, as this robot will rely on multiple imaging modalities, where a wrist-worn galvanic sensor on the patient will be able to keep track of a person’s vital statistics and the position of the limb being rehabilitated.
Not only that, the USC robot is said to be personality driven, where it will interact according to the person’s mood. Now that might be some comfort to us.