With Robotic Exoskeleton, Scientists Teach Kids to Crawl

By promoting muscle activity, it could prevent the onset of cerebral palsy. To detect cerebral palsy in infants, researchers at the University of Oklahoma have developed a motorized robot for children to wear, tracking brain activity and muscle coordination using artificial intelligence. The robot—a cross between an exoskeleton, a skateboard, and a onesie—is designed to prevent muscle atrophy in children who have difficulty crawling. By making moving easier, the theory goes, kids will develop their muscles and the brain waves that activate them. The wearable robot, called Self-Initiated Prone Progression Crawler (SIPPC), has been in development for years and is now on its third prototype. In a presentation last summer, Oklahoma engineering professor Andrew Fagg and his team said they initially plan a research fleet of more than 20 robots.…


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