The UD1, Or, Do Cyborg Babies Lose Voting Rights?
Okay, so I’m overreacting. But researchers at the University of Delaware have designed the UD1, a robot that will allow disabled babies to navigate their environment. These robots are actually like a power chair that can be operated by a joystick. You may not have thought that babies could operate joysticks, and you wouldn’t be alone. In fact, it was commonly thought that a baby couldn’t operate a joystick until age three, but as it turns out, even a six month old baby can figure out how a joystick can make a toy that is far away move closer.
There have been concerns about babies outgrowing the power chair, and thus making them prohibitively expensive for any family to get for their disabled infant, but U of D researchers are also looking at “kits” for retrofitting the device to get them to better fit the babies. They also want to drop the overall size of the chair to make it more mobile inside buildings.
It’s a pretty awesome concept, no matter how you slice it, and Baby Terminator just might make a good movie. I wonder if Sam Worthington would come back….