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Robots using assistive technology to lend a helping hand for people with disabilities

Assistive technology has always been a blessing for people with disabilities by helping them in numerous ways. A group of researchers at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom is all set to take assistive technology to the next level by introducing robots who can help disabled and elderly people. If successfully implemented, these robots will create a new generation in assistive technology. Researchers are using art, humanities, engineering and robotics to develop these robots.

These robots are going to be a constant companion to the person who uses it. These animals- like robots can also help reduce anxiety and depression in children by being a close aide to them. They can be easily controlled by the user using a smart phone app. Researchers are already working along with children, disabled and elderly people to check out how well these robots can help them.

Preetham Sunkavalli, who is visually impaired, works as an Area Sales Manager in Mahindra. Sunkavalli says that these robots are going to be of great help for people with disabilities.

I see a lot of potential in this project. This is something like self-driving cars that can be of great help to people with disabilities. These robots are going to provide emotional support for both disabled and elderly people. Personally, I would appreciate having a robot like this. It makes a lot of sense because daily tasks are also going to be made easier. For instance, I have a tough time trying to check-in at airports. A robot can make the task easier for me. Solutions like these are effective and efficient. I hope this is going to be introduced in India very soon-Preetham Sunkavalli

One of the best features about these robots is that they need not be constantly operated by the user. They can carry on with their activities while the robot works. Disability rights activists consider these robots to be something that can revolutionise the way disabled people do their daily tasks.

"This is indeed a fantastic initiative. Understanding disability has always been a concern especially when it comes to how children are being impacted by it. It is indeed a crucial question that needs to be solved. At the same time, depending too much on technology is also not great. For instance, the robot is expected to play the role of an animal that stays with children who have anxiety in order to reduce their anxiety. There are many animals that need care and concern. Why do we need a robot as alternative?, says Maitreya Shah, a disability rights activist.

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