Chad Jenkins, professor of computer science, gave a presentation today (Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014) at the annual retreat for Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Jenkins discussed his collaboration with a group called Robots for Humanity, which looks for ways to use robotics to help people with physical impairments. Jenkins has developed an interface that enables people to control robots using a simple web browser. He hopes that such intuitive, familiar interfaces will help take robots out of the lab and make them accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Jenkins was joined remotely for his presentation by Henry Evans, a California man who became quadriplegic after a stroke at the age of 40. Evans demonstrated how he uses the web interface control the PR2, a robot designed to perform household tasks. Evans uses the same interface to pilot a quadcopter drone outfitted with a small camera. Using the drone, Evans can move virtually in his yard and garden, giving him a sense of freedom that would otherwise be difficult. Jenkins and Evans previously demonstrated the technology at TEDx MidAtlantic.

Read more