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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2010 Jun;89(6):509-21. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e3181cf569b.

The role of assistive robotics in the lives of persons with disability.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pennsylvania, USA.


Robotic assistive devices are used increasingly to improve the independence and quality of life of persons with disabilities. Devices as varied as robotic feeders, smart-powered wheelchairs, independent mobile robots, and socially assistive robots are becoming more clinically relevant. There is a growing importance for the rehabilitation professional to be aware of available systems and ongoing research efforts. The aim of this article is to describe the advances in assistive robotics that are relevant to professionals serving persons with disabilities. This review breaks down relevant advances into categories of Assistive Robotic Systems, User Interfaces and Control Systems, Sensory and Feedback Systems, and User Perspectives. An understanding of the direction that assistive robotics is taking is important for the clinician and researcher alike; this review is intended to address this need.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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