Wanted: Coach, Companion, Robot

USC's stroke rehab robot prods patients to do exercises.

USC

Statistics show that there are 800,000 new stroke victims every year, a figure that is expected to double over the next 20 years. How will we effectively be able to care for these patients?

That's a question that researchers from the University of Southern California are addressing in a short video piece called "Wanted: Coach. Companion. Robot." The video highlights a future day in the life of a robot they are developing to help stroke victims. Though not named, the robot looks very much like a Bandit 2 model. The device uses multiple imaging modalities, as well as a wrist-worn galvanic sensor on the patient to track a person's vital statistics and the position of the limb being rehabilitated.

What's also somewhat unique about the USC robot is the personality it is given. Rather than merely being a speaking machine, the USC robot interacts almost like an early version of C-3PO, gently responding based on the person's mood. Not only will the robot give you a warm greeting, but during your rehab exercises it'll give you not-so-subtle feedback on your effort ("I may be a robot, but I am not blind"). According to the video below, the robot apparently also has the uncanny ability to change from a cardinal USC hoodie to full workout gear!


This post also appears on medGadget, an Atlantic partner site.

Presented by

medGadget is written by a group of MDs and biomedical engineers.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open for 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Health

Just In