I got a call from Nick Fryer. Nick and his identical twin brother Chris both have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and are interested in how robotics could be useful to people with disabilities. So I invited them to our office to check out what we’re working on. They wrote a blog post about meeting with us. This is taken from their blog, which they post daily:
We went down to 2Mar Robotics today. 2Mar is a new robotics company based in Melbourne and founded by Marita Cheng, who was young Australian of the year in 2012.
Their first product is the Jeva robotic arm. This arm mounts on a wheelchair and can be controlled using an iPhone or iPad (android support coming soon). It could help disabled, or chronically lazy, people open doors, press elevator buttons or pick objects up off the floor. The primary control of the robot arm is the iPhone and iPad, but the arm can also be trained to do complex tasks and repeat them when called for.
We had a good talk with Marita about some of the projects that we have been working on and ideas on how she could make Jeva useful to the maximum number of disabled people. Marita even gave us some homework. We need to work out how to use a mouse with an iPad as touchscreens are difficult for us to use.
Anyway I promised some pictures and here they are.
- This arm is a prototype and is what was used for the demonstration. It was easy and intuitive to control from the iPad.
- This is Nick with a later model on his table. I believe it is pretty similar on the inside, but has a sexy black casing around it.
- Mid demonstration.
- Gripping a ball. It can’t play catch…yet
- Nick’s robot arm.
The last paragraph has a list of photographs that they posted at their blog. So make sure you check it out!