Robot Caregivers

Robot Caregivers

A scientist from Cornell University, Tapomayukh Bhattacharjee, has developed a robotic arm to help feed people with spinal injuries.

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Robots could become crucial caregivers in the future, with new technologies constantly in development to help improve the quality of life for the globe's aging population and people with physical disabilities. One example comes from Cornell University scientist Tapomayukh Bhattacharjee who is developing a robotic arm to help feed people with spinal injuries.

Bhattacharjee, an assistant professor of computer science at Cornell, believes that robots have the potential to transform caregiving and that eating is one of the key areas where they could provide a helping robotic hand.

The roboticist was recently granted a four-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation's National Robotics Initiative to help him and his Emprise Lab develop caregiving robotics solutions for people with physical disabilities.

"Feeding is one of the most basic activities," Bhattacharjee said. "Imagine yourself asking someone else to feed you every morsel of food in your day-to-day life. It just completely takes away the sense of independence.

"And so, if we could solve this feeding challenge," he continued, "if a person could perceive this robot as an extension of their own body, then they will feel much more independent. That's why I am so passionate about solving this."

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