Hey Robotic earns $2.5M grant from Nationwide Institute of Well being

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stretch robot

Hey Robotic’s Stretch earned a $2.5 million grant to increase the robotic’s capabilities. | Supply: Hey Robotic

The Nationwide Institute on Getting older, a part of the Nationwide Institute of Well being (NIH), awarded Hey Robotic with a Section II Small Enterprise Innovation Analysis grant price roughly $2.5 million. 

Hey Robotic creates assistive cell manipulator robots that purpose to assist getting older adults with cognitive and bodily impairments. With the grant, the corporate hopes to additional develop its Stretch Cognitive and Bodily Assistant. 

Stretch is a slender and versatile cell manipulator that may function autonomously. Stretch 2, the most recent model of the robotic, has a 109 cm vertical vary of movement, and a telescoping arm that may prolong 52 cm past its base. The robotic’s wrist extends this attain in order that the robotic can attain the again of a countertop.

Hey Robotic hopes that Stretch could be a pleasant, inexpensive and succesful helper for older adults battling a spread of bodily and cognitive impairments. 

“Caregiving is in disaster,” Hey Robotic CEO Dr. Aaron Edsinger mentioned in a launch. “It’s changing into more and more troublesome to rearrange look after older members of the family residing at house. Robots resembling Stretch maintain unbelievable promise to reinforce the caregiving workforce, permitting family members to age-in-place at house for longer.”

The grant builds on a Section I NIH award. With the earlier grant, Hey Robotic labored with a analysis staff on the College of Illinois, led by Dr. Wendy Rogers. The staff confirmed that Stretch was in a position to present significant help to a person with quadriplegia. 

The brand new grant goals to increase on this earlier work and check Stretch’s capabilities in serving to individuals with delicate cognitive impairment with each bodily and cognitive duties. 

“This award brings collectively an unbelievable staff  – working collectively in direction of a shared imaginative and prescient the place robots like Stretch can improve life for everybody, together with youngsters, older adults, and folks with disabilities,” Edsinger mentioned in a launch. 

Hey Robotic additionally plans to make modifications to its distant management interface in order that it may be utilized by caregivers. The grant will even assist the corporate develop extra autonomous actions for Stretch and discover Stetch’s utility in quite a lot of house and assisted residing environments. 

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