PR2 Robots have been assisting people in carrying out daily chores like folding laundry, baking cookies or playing pool. Robots are also capable of doing critical tasks like defusing bombs, helping disabled persons etc.
Henry Evans, who had suffered a stroke when he was 40 years old, was impressed by the capabilities of the PR2. He felt that the robot would be of great help to him in doing his daily tasks at home, more independently. Therefore, he coordinated with Georgia Tech Healthcare Robotics Lab and Willow Garage for acquiring the PR2. Since its entry into Henry’s life, the PR2 has been assisting him in doing things like shave by himself, scratch itches etc. Henry was dependent on others in the past for doing these tasks.
The PR2 is equipped with high-level autonomous capabilities, which makes it an ideal solution for performing these tasks. Henry issues commands to the robot through the head tracker and the robot follows the orders to fetch objects or navigate to specific locations etc. The sensors and the software in the PR2 help in executing the issued commands. The author is of the opinion that Willow Garage and Georgia Tech should learn from the feedback received from the users of PR2 and improve its design to suit the requirements of the next generation home care and health care robots. He added that they should also work around the pricing. The author is happy to see the effort that some companies are putting in to make the robots more useful in helping people who need them to carry on their daily routines.