Researchers from Oregon State University announce two modified designs of its Go Baby Go ride-on cars developed for children with disabilities.
The sit-to-stand version is designed to encourage children with disabilities to stand up in order to activate the switch to make the car move.
The second design, called “Throw Baby Throw,” features a toy pitching machine that throws foam balls, engineered to help children with upper extremity limits to participate in throwing and facilitate socialization.
“Both of these devices are designed to encourage movement and social interaction, which are critical developmental skills for all young children,” says Sam Logan, an assistant professor of kinesiology in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at OSU and leader of the university’s Go Baby Go program, in a media release from Oregon State University.
The two new car designs were featured in a technical report published recently in the journal Frontiers in Robotics and AI, per the release.
According to the study, researchers investigation the sit-to-stand car in use suggest that a child with disabilities spent about 10% more time engaging with his peers on the playground or in the gym at school when he used the sit-to-stand car, compared to using his forearm crutches.
“That’s exactly what you want to see,” Logan says, per the release. “This car gets you up and gets you moving. It’s also a way to introduce some fun around the practice of these skills that will help a child stand and walk on their own.”
The engineering behind the “Throw Baby Throw” car is more complex and needs more refinement before the design could be shared more widely across the Go Baby Go network, and has not been studied in action, Logan adds in the release.
The goal of the new car designs is to find more ways to encourage children with disabilities to move, play and engage with their peers from a young age, Logan explains.
“We encourage families, clinicians, and teachers to embrace a ‘right device, right time, right place’ approach that takes into account each child’s specific needs and abilities,” he states. “Whatever typically developing kids do should be the gold standard for all children, including those with disabilities.”
[Source(s): Oregon State University, Science Daily]