The exploration experiences that children have at an early age play an important role in cognitive development. A research team from the University of Delaware, led by physical therapy professor Cole Galloway, is working on ways to help infants with walking and crawling issues have those kinds of experiences. Galloway's research puts infants and young children with special needs in sophisticated mobility solutions that just happen to look like brightly colored race cars and cartoon characters. The approach allows children to "hack" their mobile robots based on their physical capabilities. The researchers' National Science Foundation-supported work has found that infants can steer the mobility devices earlier than they can crawl or walk. The team is now determining whether early mobility helps advance early social behavior among infants. Through their Go Baby Go! program, Galloway and mechanical engineering professor Sunil Agrawal are working to create networks to provide solutions for children with mobility issues.
Provided by the National Science Foundation