Researchers at the University of Oklahoma have designed a robotic gizmo to assist babies at risk of developing cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder. Typically not diagnosed until a child reaches one year of age, CP can limit motor function and mobility.
Now in the midst of a trial with 56 infants, the Oklahoma team's motorized robot assistant could help strengthen and direct movement during a child's crucial early development, according to a report from the IEEE. Decked out with power steering, algorithmic learning and an electrode-studded cap for monitoring brain activity, the device is supposed to help develop muscle strength and the neural pathways that facilitate movement.
With six to nine months remaining on this study, let's hope that this device will mean good things for early CP detection and physical therapy. In the meantime, check out this adorable video of an infant testing out the robot prototype.