Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=231080
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Autonomous robots give patients with paralysis new mobility

by Laura L. Calderone
Jun 5, 2014


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Elle Calderone/MEDILL

An autonomous wheelchair being developed at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago can detect doorways or tables using sensors. Brenna Argall, a robotics researcher at the Rehabilitation Institute, says this wheelchair will be able to anticipate where the user wants to go.

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T. George Hornby/Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

A patient at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago works to build muscle strength after suffering an injury. T. George Hornby, a physical therapist and research scientist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago says it is important for patients with paralysis to make brain to muscle connections and practice without the use of robotics.

A robotics lab at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago is turning science fiction into non-fiction.

 Brenna Argall, a robotics researcher at the Rehabilitation Institute, is developing autonomous robots, which operate by anticipating a user's intentions. Argall says machines like a wheelchair and robotic arm will improve the lives of those with serious paralysis.