Helping Restore Ability has been pleased to serve as a research collaborator with the University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at San Antonio, University of Minnesota, University of Central Florida, and the National Science Foundation on a multi-year study looking to explore how people with disabilities might engage with socially assistive robotics to enhance their performance of daily living activities.

This project included two separate studies. The first looked at developing a system for a wheelchair-mounted robotic arm to engage with a person with a physical or neurological disability in order to enable greater independent reach and functionality. The second examined the use of a robot caregiver to provide respite services for an older adult caregiver of an adult with a developmental or intellectual disability. Both studies served to open a discussion on ethical and normative parameters around the use of robotic technology in a way that best serves the individual rather than an “out-of-the-box” approach.

Additionally, Helping Restore Ability has partnered with Amerigroup to study the importance of caregiver consistency and training. This study provided additional training resources for in-home caregivers in order to provide them with the necessary skill to spot changes in their clients earlier to prevent more serious illnesses.

Superior HealthPlan and Helping Restore Ability have also partnered to study the importance of clients attending their primary care physician appointments on an annual basis. The basis of the study is that by attending visits with a consistent primary care doctor, emergency room visits and costly hospital stays will decrease due to early detection signs.

The research team at Helping Restore Ability is continually looking for ways to engage with cutting edge projects aimed at providing a more independent life for those with disabilities. Other ongoing projects include a collaboration with the Notre Dame Laboratory for Economic Opportunity and further study with the University of Texas at Arlington.