Let's Make Robots!

Does disabled persons pave way for robots?

Please note: English is my second language, I may involuntarily make fun of people without legs and or ears etc. This is not the intention, and I am sorry if it happens!

Because of this: http://letsmakerobots.com/node/24014#comment-58207

I just got to think: There are many places where the installations for disabled persons may have paved way for robots to do stuff.


  • Many traffic lights in Denmark have a beeper that indicates the color of the light
  • Blind people have a special touch-reading (braille) that can be printed on such things as playing cards
  • Many public buildings have ramps for wheelchairs
  • Wheelchairs are a good source for motors and power supply
  • Hearing aids may be well suited to hack?

I never realized; if we look at this, there may exist a wormhole for robots to jump into our world, and this wormhole may be aid that was meant for disabled persons!

What other things are there? Or am I just full of shit? :)

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There's a whole world of robotic prosthetics, BCIs (brain-computer interfaces), artificial implants, and other technologies designed to give people back abilities they may have lost due to illness/injury/deformation.

One area that seems to have grown a lot in the last few years is the development of robotic limbs for soldiers injured in service.

How much CPU would be needed to make a pair of "robotic limb" walk on it's own, I wonder?

I recon you could do it with a picaxe. Carrying the 40 kilo's of batteries will be the problem. Guess that's why these guys in Spain won with their spring assisted walking thingy. No servos no motors, just a spring.

Forget the soliders, why don't they make robotic limbs for scientists injured in failed experiments with large autonomous robots

Think ... "start here robot" with a Volkswagen chassis

Here in the US, we have laws requiring businesses that are open to the public to meet guidelines for accessibility.  It is very subjective to decide what is adequate. A robot tester could add some objectivity.

On the English as second language subject, it reminds me of when I was working for a company in Denver (pretty much right in the middle of the US) and we were doing business with a company from Sweden. At one meeting, one of their managers said he had some documentation we needed but would have to get it translated, since we Americans only know English. I explained to him that it was largely because of geography. I could get in my car and drive a couple of days and everyone would still speak the same language. He smiled and said "Yah, I used to have a car like that, too."


lol :D

I really do like the idea of trying to build something that is an actual aid instead of another toy. So much bright people here, I'm sure they could build epic devices that could benefit mankind. But where to start, I've been wondering to. I guess the nano reef is my best bet so far :)

Well, everyone are doing that. My point was that the already made inventions to make life easier for disabled persons, could either be hacked and used for robotics, or, the fact that they are invented, and sometimes implemented in our surroundings, could open doorways to silly robots.

like; if you wanted to make a robot that could navigate through traffic, then perhaps you could use beeping from traffic lights that where actually there to assist blind people. That was a bad example, but still; Point is; There are things installed, could we use them?

I am not sure if it is like this everywhere, but the way the accessibility to buildings is addressed in the US can make it difficult for humans to figure out. It could be really tough for a bot. Where I work, there is a bank on the first floor and the have an outside entrance with an ATM next to it at the front of the building. But the building is on a slight downhill grade, so there are stairs down to the parking lot out front but the back lot is even with the back doors. Because one outside entrance is at ground level, they were not required to build a ramp out front, and they chose not to. So a handicapped person has to park in the back lot, come in the back door of the building, cross the lobby, go out the front door and then use the ATM or go into the bank. Think how difficult it would be for a bot to figure that out. BTW, the bank also has a drive through at the side of the building, so they aren't as cold hearted as it might sound.

It has gotten more standard to have handicapped spaces clearly marked with an international (at least hat's what they tell us) symbol for handicapped parking and a marked crosswalk leading to the ramp. It would be an interesting challenge to power up a bot on wheels in front of a building and see if it can get in. I didn't even get to the part about ramps being inherently one way as they usually are not wide enough for two wheelchairs. So you can't start up one if someone is coming down...

An interesting tangent is the flip side - robots should probably make sure that they make the emerging standard noises to warn people of their presence: