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Kathy Weaver

A focus of Kathy Weaver’s art is on the human cost of war, including the impact of traumatic brain injuries and lost limbs on soldiers. She often contemplates how technology – especially robotics -- may help them, if continued research investment is made. “In this difficult economic climate, it would be easy to cut programs and research for this segment of the population,” Weaver says. The mechanical images in her art help to articulate Weaver’s views. “The robot is the protagonist in my work – acting as a commentator on the status quo,” she says.

www.kweaverarts.com

Robotic Foot

24 x 18 x 2 in.

Charcoal


A robotic foot appears to tread on dangerous territory in this charcoal drawing. “Because of the number of unexploded devices in use in recent wars, soldiers and citizens, including many children, have suffered traumatic injury to their limbs,” Weaver says.

 

Robotic Hand

24 x 18 x 2 in.

Charcoal


The sharp increase in the number of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with wounded extremities has advanced the technology for amputees, including the development of artificial limbs that are activated by thought, says Weaver. “In this drawing I am imagining a prosthetic device used to replace a soldier’s hand.”

 

The T-WREX

24 x 18 x 2 in.

Charcoal


The Therapy-Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton (T-WREX) was designed for adults with significant arm weakness and provides intense movement training without continuous supervision from a therapist. T-WREX is a five degree-of-freedom passive antigravity orthosis and computer workstation. “As I draw these prototypes, often made up of sophisticated computers and ingenious hardware, the human imprint is uppermost in my mind. Though made of metal and machine parts, these robots have an aura of hope,” Weaver says.

 

Controlling Assistive Device (Powered Wheelchair)

24 x 18 x 2 in.

Charcoal


This chair is tailored to meet the needs of tetraplegic patients, who practice by using virtual reality as a step to creating the interface necessary to enable patients with limited mobility to steer precisely. “I found it fascinating that music is used with the patients to determine their dominant movements, so that body sensors may be more efficiently placed and programmed,” Weaver says.