An insole restores communication between the brain and injured feet
By Becky FerreiraPosted 06.18.2012 at 10:08 am 1 Comment
Long before he became an inventor, Jon Christiansen was a sea captain. In 1985 he was hired to sail a replica of the Godspeed, the ship that landed at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, in a reenactment of the original voyage. One day while he was cleaning the ship's hull, someone spun the wheel, trapping Christiansen's leg between the rudder and a support post. The accident severed or damaged most of the nerves below his left knee. Doctors told him he would never have feeling in his left foot again.
Today in non-cosmetic body piercings: A group of engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a way to control, well, just about anything (but most likely, things like wheelchairs) with a combination of a magnetic tongue piercing and a paired retainer. The user would press the tongue piercing against different parts of the retainer to send signals. Shift into neutral! Pretend like you're saying the word "lilt"!
For those paralyzed from the neck down, controlling a wheelchair even with a joystick is impossible. Researchers at Japan's Miyazaki University have created a wheelchair that solves that problem with electrodes affixed to the face. Certain motions will cause the wheelchair to move, stop, and turn--and it can all be done above the neck.
Stevie Wonder, a voracious consumer of technology, wants manufacturers to make their products accessible to everyone.
Twenty-two-time Grammy winner Stevie Wonder has created new sounds, even genres, by absorbing and reshaping every musical and audio technology he's encountered.
"He's always the first," says Lamar Mitchell, one of Wonder's technology assistants. "He was the first one to have a sampler…He was one of the first guys messing with drum machine technology." The distinct sound of Wonder's 1972 blockbuster hit, Superstition, came from a novelty piano/electric guitar hybrid instrument called the Höhner Clavinet. "It was meant to be an electric harpsichord," said Mitchell. "And then something happened when Stevie got it."
Though blind, Wonder has mastered the visually-oriented personal computer—both PCs and Macs.