The CMU Portugal faculty member and Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico, João Paulo Costeira, was interviewed by 90 Segundos de Ciência about the Program’s Exploratory project, Feedbot, that is being developed at ISR Lisboa. The project is developing a robotic arm to help people with motor disabilities eat independently. It was created from a specific need of its Principal Investigator, Manuel Marques, who has cerebral palsy.
The project is building upon the collaboration with Manuela Veloso, from Carnegie Mellon University, with the ISR researchers previous to this project, who initiated a challenge to build a machine that would make Manuel Marques autonomous in his feeding process so he could feed himself without the help of third parties.
The great advantage of Feedbot is its ability to adapt to user behavior. Through perception algorithms, this arm can identify users’ movement patterns and adapt to those patterns.
In this way, the arm is able to detect an involuntary movement and wait for it to finish before bringing the food to the user’s mouth. This robotic arm can also be used by people with reduced mobility or undergoing treatment who need help to feed themselves.
Manuel Marques and his Master student Alexandre Candeias at Ciência 2019