Lab D4H Babybot
Revolutionizing Infant Mobile Independence
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. Young children who have been diagnosed with CP often require physical therapy treatment in order to walk, crawl, or even sit up on their own. Many adults with cerebral palsy require aid to do everyday tasks and in some cases require wheelchairs, prohibiting them from leading fully independent lives. Although there is no cure, treating symptoms of CP includes physical therapy treatment to strengthen postural musculature that leads to the development of exterior limb functions and fine motor skills that can lead to increased mobility and independence. The key to effective therapy is frequent treatment and early intervention. However, many families struggle to begin and maintain multiple therapy sessions per week due to low therapist to patient ratios and difficulty with scheduling, travel time, or finances. This is the area where BabyBot has the most potential to help these families and therapists.
BabyBot is an automated therapy device for children as young as 9 mo (and up to 4 yrs) that will allow therapists to assist multiple patients at once and families to supplement in-clinic therapy with additional sessions from the comfort of their own homes. The multifaceted BabyBot imitates ball therapy by creating a dynamic surface underneath the patient, which prompts the patient to engage their postural muscles and strengthen them with repetition. It is also equipped with a game system that keeps the patient entertained, engaged, and even a valued participant in their own treatment with toys, sounds and the ability to choose the BabyBot’s motions when the device is in patient mode. BabyBot has the potential to help the over 10,000 children born with cerebral palsy every year to develop the tools they need to live the most mobile and independent lives possible.