Hello Stretch Community!
My name is V Nguyen. I am pursuing my doctorate in occupational therapy (OT) at Pacific University in Hillsboro, Oregon. With the support of a great team, I am working on a 14-week capstone project that explores how Henry Evans, who has severe quadriplegia, can increase his independence at home using the Stretch RE1.
As part of my project, I’ve lived with Henry and his wife Jane at their home. I’ve already stayed with them for a two-week session, and my second session starts next week! During the first session, we explored activities of daily living (ADL), such as Henry feeding himself,
and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), such as Henry giving Jane a rose.
The first session exceeded everyone’s expectations! Henry enjoyed doing a variety of tasks for himself, and we found ways that robots like the Stretch RE1 could free up Jane’s time.
Many fabulous people have come together to support this effort.
- First and foremost, a huge thanks to Henry and Jane Evans. I contacted them back in February 2020, and they’ve made all of this possible through their passion and generosity. They’ve done amazing work over the years through Robots for Humanity.
- I meet regularly with Prof. Wendy Rogers and the Human Factors and Aging Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They’ve provided hugely valuable insights and guidance throughout my project.
- Prof. Maya Cakmak and the Human-Centered Robotics Lab have enabled Henry to control Stretch through their web-based interface, which is available on GitHub as open-source code! They’ve been actively improving it based on Henry and Jane’s feedback. Also, two of the team members are now starting their own labs as faculty members: Dr. Maria “Maru” Eugenia Cabrera at UMass Lowell and Dr. Tapomayukh “Tapo” Bhattacharjee at Cornell!
- Hello Robot has also helped me throughout my project. When not at Henry and Jane’s home, I’ve been at Hello Robot headquarters, where everyone has been incredibly supportive, encouraging, and fun!
I look forward to sharing more with you after my second session! Wish me luck!
Until next time,
Pacific University School of Occupational Therapy