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Climbing

Good Thinking

Topchair-S wheelchair has no problem with stairs

Wheelchair users have had to live with the fact that stairs, sharp curbs and doorsteps either required assistance to maneuver, or made access to some locations impossible. The TopChair-S, however, is designed to change that. It's an electric wheelchair designed to safely maneuver over such obstacles, utilizing caterpillar-like tracks in addition to wheels for greater maneuverability and independence.Read More

Outdoors

Skylodge Adventure Suites – for travelers who want to hang out in Peru

If you're in need of a good case of vertigo, just Google the term "rock climbing bivy." Essentially, it's a narrow cot that a mountain climber fastens to a cliff face, where they proceed to precariously spend the night dangling above oblivion. Although you might not want to push things quite that far, you can now get the same sort of thrill – but in a safer, more comfortable fashion – by staying in one of Natura Vive's three Skylodge Adventure Suites.Read More

Architecture

Net staircase makes getting upstairs more fun

Moving between the levels of a building is not something people tend to think of as anything other than perfunctory. We rarely think, for example, about whether our going upstairs or downstairs is adequately fun. A new installation at Austria's OK Center for Contemporary Art, however, has made it so. Read More

Science

Z-Man tech allows people to climb glass like geckos

Geckos are likely better climbers than any other animal, so it's no surprise that a number of researchers have tried to copy that ability via man-made technology. One group, from Stanford University, was particularly successful with a small climbing robot known as the Stickybot. Four years ago, we heard about how they were also looking into applying the Stickybot tech to a system that would allow humans to climb up vertical surfaces. Now, DARPA has announced the first successful demonstration of that system, known as Z-Man. Read More

Outdoors

German company looks to build artificial climbing mountains

You no longer need a mountain or sheer cliff face to enjoy the thrill and challenge of technical climbing. Rock gyms have sprouted up across cities and suburbs around the world, providing a climbing option for those that don't have access to mountains. These gyms don't usually look anything like real rock, but a German company has a plan to construct climbing "mountains" out of an artificial material that it says looks and feels like the real thing. Read More

Artwork lets users climb around huge cube of ropes

Cultured arachnid fans are in for a treat with a new artwork from Vienna-based collective Numen. String is a 3D grid of ropes suspended within a huge inflated cube. Users can enter the exhibit and clamber their way around its intricate mesh in a blank and disorientating environment.Read More

Robotics

RHex robot shows off Parkour moves

Parkour is all about hurling yourself quickly and efficiently past whatever obstacles are in your path while maintaining as much momentum as possible. It's a challenge for humans, so how would robots fare? In an effort to push the boundaries of robotic agility, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania decided to find out by teaching their RHex robot some Parkour moves.Read More

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