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OSU researchers want to enhance veterans' health with robots

Researchers from Oregon State University teamed up with a veterans home in Oregon, hoping custom designed robots are able to help veterans with their needs.

OSU researchers want to enhance veterans' health with robots
Published Sep 28, 2022 6:58 PM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Oct 20 2022 6:53 PM CDT
1 minute & 15 seconds read time

Researchers from Oregon State University want to find out if robots can improve the mental and physical wellbeing of veterans. The university is working with the Edward C. Allworth Veterans' Home in Oregon on a project with federal funding from the National Science Foundation's National Robotics Initiative.

OSU researchers want to enhance veterans' health with robots 01

During the initial phase of research, OSU engineers want to analyze physical therapy programs and cognitive exercise for veterans, which can be led by robots. Assuming the robot is streamlined and easy to operate, they tend to be extremely more immersive than something on a laptop, tablet, or a virtual reality system.

Robots have a certain appeal both in the home and in a veterans' home, where it can be used in group sessions - and alleviate nurse and worker burnout. The staff and residents of the veterans' home will be interviewed to figure out what specific needs they have which can be assisted by OSU researchers and their robotic research.

As noted by Naomi Fitter, assistant professor of robotics in the OSU College of Engineering, in a press statement:

"The home already has virtual reality setups as part of its physical therapy facilities. We want to see if a physically present robot agent, there in the same space, can be an improvement. Residents can do their exercise routines with a 'buddy,' possibly with more engagement, especially between physical therapists' visits when human support for exercise practice is not typically available."

Of course, most of the time people hear of robots related to the military, they assume it's something related to warfare. However, researchers have a specific interest in robotics development to take care of medical patients, elderly, and patients with special needs. These specialized units can offer emotional support and lead physical exercises custom programmed for the needs of individual patients.

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An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown to cover everything from cars & electric vehicles to solar and green energy topics. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the Cars & Electric Vehicles News Reporter and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog, AlamedaTech.com, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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