A partnership between The Brainary, Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), and Swinburne University of Technology has seen the introduction of a NAO humanoid robot to assist in paediatric rehabilitation.
NAO is currently being used to assist children recovering from major illnesses or injuries whereby the robot completes physical exercises alongside the children, demonstrating and explaining correct technique.
Head of Rehabilitation at RCH and Statewide Medical Director of Victorian Paediatric Rehabilitation Service (VPRS), Dr Adam Scheinberg, advised that children with major illnesses or injuries often require long periods of intensive rehabilitation.
“One, if not the, major challenge is maintaining each child’s engagement with the rehabilitation,” he said.
“NAO helps us motivate children and increase the number of repetitions of their exercises on a daily basis which leads to a faster recovery and less time in hospital".
Swinburne University of Technology has lead the research and development required to program applications based on the requirements of Occupational Therapists working with the children.
The partnership was initiated by Emeritus Professor Leon Sterling from Swinburne and Director of The Brainary, Hugh Kingsley, and was funded by TAC to help improve the lives of patients with Acquired Brain Injury and/or Spinal Cord Injury.