Skip navigation

Purdue startup receives Veterans Affairs' grant to advance RoboTable

Photo of Brad Duerstock & Jeffrey Ackerman
RoboTable developers Brad Duerstock and Jeffrey Ackerman pose with RoboTable, an over-the-bed robotic arm that mobilizes laptops and mobile devices for veterans with mobility impairments or disabilities. The device's design allows users to maintain productivity regardless of their position. (Photo: Purdue Research Foundation)
Prehensile Technologies, co-founded by Associate Professor of Engineering Practice Brad Duerstock, was one of only three recipients to receive a special grant from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).

The VA "Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Assistive Technology Grant" offers funds designated to improve veterans' or service members' ability to live independently in an adapted home.

Duerstock's company is developing robotic assistive technology devices including RoboTable, a robotic over-the-bed table, to help veterans and others with disabilities or mobility impairments better use their laptop computers and mobile devices while restricted to bed. This allows them to be more independent and remain productive with work or school.

RoboTable stems from Prehensile Technologies' first device, RoboDesk, a wheelchair platform allowing users to independently extend and retract the robotic arm and the devices it carries when needed. RoboTable seeks to offer the same independence and productivity for bed-bound users.

Duerstock co-developed RoboTable with Jeffrey Ackerman, a graduate from the School of Mechanical Engineering and chief technology officer of Prehensile Technologies.

Summarized from full article "Purdue startup receives Veterans Affairs’ grant, advance RoboTable, increase independence, improve quality of life" by Kelsey Henry in Purdue Research Foundation News (August 24, 2017).