JDQ Systems is pleased to announce that the UBC Department of Computer Science has joined JDQ, the Developmental Disabilities Association (DDA) and BCIT, in a partnership to design a 3Spheres™ Collaborative Service Robot, using existing and new technology, by June 2018. Supported by an NSERC Engage grant, a UBC robotics PhD will join the 3Spheres Robotics project team that is designing and building a robot that can help people with disabilities reach their personal goals and achieve greater independence.
The UBC PhD will focus research on the unique challenges of autonomous navigation in a group home for adults with developmental disabilities. To navigate autonomously, the robot must be able to sense environmental conditions for safe mobility using accurate obstacle identification and avoidance.
According to Jim Little, Computer Science Professor at UBC, “Collaboration with JDQ builds upon our extensive experience in mapping and navigation, which evolved into our research into intelligent wheelchairs and collaborative robotics. JDQ’s connection with facilities that support people with disabilities offers us an opportunity to work with those deeply familiar with their needs, and a chance to develop and test our ideas with the intended users.”
“As Project Manager, I look forward to the acceleration that this UBC engagement will trigger,” Jon Morris, President of JDQ Systems says: “The design and development of a high quality, collaborative service robot is a long-term effort that requires an innovative combination of research expertise and mature entrepreneurship.”
“I am thrilled that UBC is so involved,” says Alanna Hendren, DDA Executive Director, “It demonstrates the potential of the 3Spheres Robotics project to advance the application of technology to benefit the developmentally disabled, and ultimately others in our society that value an independent lifestyle.” In addition to this new robotics initiative, DDA also has a partnership with UBC in early childhood development.
The UBC robotics PhD joins a team that already includes resources from the BCIT faculties of Mechanical Engineering and Business Operations Management. The 3Spheres Robotics Project consortium is interested in engaging new partners that can contribute to the project in a meaningful way. Please contact Jon Morris, firstname.lastname@example.org or 604.876.1422 for more information.