Cosmobot

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CosmoBot is a child-friendly, interactive remote controlled telerehabilitation robot designed by AnthroTronix, Inc.[1]. CosmoBot is part of an overall assistive technology system that includes the CosmoBot robot, Mission Control input device, and accompanying software. With the accompanying software, CosmoBot can be used as part of a play therapy program that promotes rehabilitation and development of disabled children. During therapy sessions, the CosmoBot system automatically collects data for therapist evaluation.

CosmoBot

History[edit]

The concept of CosmoBot was created by Dr. Corinna Lathan, who cofounded AnthroTronix, Inc. with Jack Vice in 1999. The entire CosmoBot system is manufactured and marketed by AT KidSystems, Inc[2]. Development of CosmoBot was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

Theory[edit]

Why was it designed?[edit]

CosmoBot was designed as an assistive tool for therapists and educators working with developmentally and learning disabled children, including those with autism and cerebral palsy. Enjoyable interaction with CosmoBot provides motivation for children to develop new skills more quickly than in traditional therapy. CosmoBot is designed to target many educational goals, ranging from communication to developmental goals.

Design goals[edit]

The most important goal of CosmoBot is to provide long-term motivation for children to actively participate in therapy and to help children achieve goals set by therapists and educators. Since CosmoBot will be used by children with varying levels of mobility, motor skills, and language, it needs to be easy to use and adaptable to different users. CosmoBot is designed for an inclusive classroom setting and must allow children to interact with their environment. It must be safe to use, hygienic, and durable. The CosmoBot system must include the capability to collect data that the therapist needs to monitor different objectives.

Target Audience[edit]

CosmoBot is intended for use by developmentally disabled children ages 5-12 under the guidance of a therapist or educator. The CosmoBot system is expected to be used as part of an Individualized Education Program developed in accordance with the IDEA. The most current version of the law is known as PL 108-446 or IDEA 2004. It is currently being marketed to therapists and educators, although AT KidSystems expects to produce a home version of the robot. A home version of the Mission Control input device and accompanying software, Cosmo's Play and Learn, is currently being marketed to parents of children ages 3-5 with and without disabilities.

The robot[edit]

CosmoBot is a 16-inch tall robot with nine degrees of freedom that is controlled by components of the CosmoBot system: a therapist can operate CosmoBot via computer-based software, and children can operate CosmoBot by using one of several input devices described in the next section.

Movement[edit]

Hidden wheels allow the robot to move forward and backward on flat surfaces and to rotate left and right. Each arm has two degrees of freedom, allowing the shoulders to flex and rotate to imitate human shoulder joint movement; the robot can raise and lowers its arms, grab objects, and clap. The head moves in pitch (nodding yes) and yaw (shaking no), and the mouth opens and closes.

Modes of operation[edit]

The therapist selects which of three modes of operation is appropriate for each therapy goal and creates a lesson tailored to each child.

Live Play[edit]

CosmoBot can be programmed to immediately perform actions upon receipt of a command from the therapist or child through any of the input devices (below).

Simon Says[edit]

The therapist can make CosmoBot perform an activity, such as lifting its arms, and ask the child to mimic the motions that CosmoBot makes; this activity is similar to the game Simon Says. The therapist can also use a microphone to talk through CosmoBot and ask the child to perform an activity or issue a voice command.

Playback[edit]

The therapist or the child can make CosmoBot perform a series of activities while the system records the sequence. The therapist can then play back the sequence while the child performs the activities at the same time. The therapist or child can also tell and record a story or a song through CosmoBot and interact as it is repeated.

Interface and input devices[edit]

Software[edit]

The software includes a graphical user interface (GUI) that allows the therapist to control the movement of the robot. The software also allows the therapist to set up and monitor the interaction between the child and CosmoBot, and to evaluate their interaction via automatic data collection. The software also stores individual data on the input actions of the children and resulting robotic movement.

Mission Control[edit]

Mission Control is CosmoBot's child-friendly version of a keyboard. It contains four large, pressure-sensitive buttons, called aFFx Activators, and incorporates a microphone. It also includes two USB ports for connection of gestural sensors. The therapist uses the GUI to assign a function to each button, such as indicating that depression of the red button will move CosmoBot forward. Activity labels can be placed in front of each button to remind the child of which activity is associated with which button. Four additional buttons can be connected to the back of Mission Control, allowing the therapist to maintain control of the lesson.

Voice input[edit]

A microphone is one of the components in Mission Control, allowing voice input to control the robot. The child can control CosmoBot’s movement with speech, using commands such as “forward” and “back”. The therapist can also use the microphone to speak through CosmoBot and engage the child in conversation, or the child can speak through the microphone while CosmoBot’s mouth moves.

Gestural sensors[edit]

The child can control CosmoBot’s movement using additional sensors connected to Mission Control. The array of custom sensors from left to right are an adapted OEM joystick, a wearable leg sensor, wearable arm sensor, wearable head sensor, wearable wrist extension glove, and a sensor to measure forearm pronation and supination, showns with arm restraint brace.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Brisben, A. J., Lockerd, A. D., & Lathan, C. (Jun, 2004). Design evolution of an interactive robot for therapy. Telemedicine Journal and e-Health. 10, 252-259.
  • Lathan, C., Brisben, A., & Safos, C. (April 2005). CosmoBot levels the playing field for disabled children. Interactions -- Special Issue: Robots!. 12, 14-16.
  • Lathan, C.E., Tracey, M. R., Vice, J.M., Druin, A., & Plaisant, C. Robotic Apparatus and Wireless Communication System, US Patent Application 10/085, 821 filed February 27, 2002

External links[edit]