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Medicine and Robotics

Robots can be used in clinical settings as helpers. As graduate student at CMU, Professor Joelle Pineau was a member of the team that built and programmed Nursebot , a robotic assistant for the elderly. Check out some of the video clips of Nursebot in action.


Since coming to McGill Professor Pineau has started a new project, the SmartWheeler robotoic wheelchair which it intended to increase the autonomy and safety of individuals with severe mobility impairments by developing a robotic wheelchair that is adapted to their needs. Here is her description of this project.

Many people who suffer from chronic mobility impairments, such as spinal cord injuries or multiple sclerosis, use a powered wheelchair to move around their environment. However factors such as fatigue, degeneration of their condition, and sensory impairments, often limit their ability to use standard electric wheelchairs. To address this challenge, we have built the SmartWheeler, a multi-functional intelligent wheelchair to assist individuals with mobility impairments in their daily locomotion, while minimizing physical and cognitive loads. The scientific goal of this project for computer scientists is to investigate new models for the robust control of a complex interactive system. The long-term objective is to increase the autonomy and safety of individuals with severe mobility impairments.

Some courses that are relevant for this area are:

  • COMP 417 - Introduction Robotics and Intelligent Systems
  • COMP 526 - Probablistic Reasoning and AI