Robotic Guide Dog for the Blind

November 8th, 2011 by Kel Smith | Filed under Blind, Innovation, Uncategorized

blind person testing a robotic guide dog

Always seeking the new and weird, engadget reports on work being done in Japan to develop a mechanized canine using Microsoft Kinect technology. The quadrupedal robot can navigate flights of stairs, identify rough patches in a path and avoid obstacles with specially made bumper sensors. Check out these two videos of the device at work.

Other news outlets have picked up on this development. MSNBC reports that this device may one day support not only the blind, but also elderly people who rely on nursing assistants to get them through their daily activities. There are already walkers that pick up sensory channels to navigate rooms and streets.

Question is this: who pays for these innovations when they are introduced to the long-term care centers, and can they be integrated into a managed care plan at a reasonable cost efficiency?

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