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"!
Japanese company WHILL’s eponymous product is one of those things that’s so smart that it’s almost annoying that no one has done this before. WHILL, which debuted recently at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, is a prototype aftermarket drive train that attaches externally to an ordinary wheelchair, augmenting it with electrically powered drive.
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.
Austin Whitney didn’t want to graduate from college in a wheelchair. So he and the student engineers at U.C. Berkeley’s “Kaz Lab” built a machine that allowed him to stand up and walk across the commencement stage
By James VlahosPosted 08.30.2011 at 12:06 pm 6 Comments
Seven steps. A short, straight walk across a stage backed by blue and gold balloons, lit by camera flashes, and ringing with the cheers of 15,000 people in the track stadium at the University of California at Berkeley. For most of the class of 2011, traipsing across the carpeted commencement platform is a triumphal but essentially symbolic exercise. You don't even get your diploma, just a rolled-up note saying that one will be mailed.
Exoskeletons are valuable for several reasons — they can help military personnel carry a heavier load, and they can be used all in the name of fun. But this one might be the best use of all: A 22-year-old paraplegic college graduate, paralyzed since a 2007 car crash, used an exoskeleton to walk across the stage Saturday to receive his diploma.