Many patients in the UK and the rest of the world have paraplegia. These people lose a lot of their autonomy and ability to be self-sufficient. Additionally, sometimes in severe cases home nurses are needed to cloth and cook meals for the person. This puts more pressure on the NHS to provide resources to these patients along with the stress and mental health consequencies that the loss of motor function in part of the body may induce. The helpful robot is a good way for patients to see their autonomy performed and may lead to a reduction in resources needed for them to live a productive and independent life.
What it does
The patient wears a Oculus headset and is able too see what the robot sees. They also can move around whilst in the robot and grip objects. If gripping occurs, there is some tactile feedback so that the person knows they are actually gripping an object. The use of the robot allows the person to do tasks they would otherwise be unable to do, if that is clothing themselves, cooking food, opening doors, or even lifting heavy boxes.
How we built it
We used Unity in order to utilise both Oculus and the VR controller together. We they connected the Oculus to a virtual robot in order to navigate enviornments and interact with 3-d objects in space. Unity used of VR to interact with Simulated Robot Arms.
Challenges we ran into
Merging the camera with the virtual robot, allowing the person to take photos with the robot (we still haven't figured this out). Gripping actions of the robot, the robot beings able to manipulate the 3-d prototype space.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Working on technology that is likely to simplify everyday life with patients with paralegia. We like having the privledge of combining expertise in order to deliver a product of great need and importance in everyday life.
What we learned
We learned more as a group, about oculus, vr software development, unity, and unity asset classes.
What's next for The helpful robot
We decided to conduct the work in a 3D space using a virtual robot. This was modeled after an actual robot that some teammembers have build in Paris. We plan to extend this work into the real world using this as a jumping point for real world applications.