HLPR Chair Mobility Robotics
The HLPR Chair, a proof-of-concept prototype developed by engineers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, will offer robotic assistance to wheelchair-dependent people. It will also help out caregivers at home and in hospitals by moving patients from chair to bed or exam table.
(HLPR Chair robotic Home Lift, Position and Rehabilitation system)
HLPR, which stands for Home Lift, Position and Rehabilitation, draws on mobile robotic technology developed for defense and manufacturing applications. It uses an off-the-shelf forklift with a U-frame base on casters. The user can maneuver the chair with joystick controls.
The HLPR robotic chair can support patients of up to 300 pounds; the heavy elements of the chair are positioned to keep its center of gravity within its wheelbase at all times. The patient can rotate out, from the inner chair frame, over a toilet, chair or bed while supported by torso lifts.
The maximum velocity of the HLPR chair is about 27 inches per second. In the future, the HLPR chair will be able to autonomously dock with toilets and will come when called.
Science fiction writers have done some advance thinking on the subject of patient care and mobility. In the 1966 Japanese manga film Roujin Z, an elderly bed-ridden man seemingly without family tests a new robot - the Z-0001.
(Roujin-Z hospital bed/robot in profile, carrying patient)
Find out more about Roujin-Z and Robot Elder Care.
Be sure to take a look at some helper robots that are being designed to serve a similar purpose for caregivers: the Vecna BEAR Battlefield Extraction And Retrieval Robot and the RI-MAN Hospital Robot.
Source article here.
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