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Disability


— Health and Wellbeing

New tech lets the paralyzed speak via "breath signals"

By - August 28, 2015

We've seen a number of technologies that speak on behalf of paralyzed people who are unable to do so. While some of these utilize cues as subtle as eye movements, the fact is that many severely paralyzed patients are unable to manage even those. That's why researchers at Britain's Loughborough University have created a system that speaks words based on the user's breathing.

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— Sports

BMW developing high-tech racing wheelchair for 2016 Paralympic Games

By - August 5, 2015

Besides building luxury cars and motorcycles, BMW has made some pretty impressive sports gear, including an Olympic bobsled that drove Team USA to men's bronze and women's silver and bronze medals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. BMW of North America announced today that it is now focusing attention on the upcoming 2016 Paralympic Games. It's reaching into its deep well of mechanical know-how to develop a racing wheelchair for the US track and field team.

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— Health and Wellbeing

Low-cost prosthetic knee could let the impoverished walk normally

By - July 31, 2015 3 Pictures

Some higher-end prosthetic legs are equipped with things like gyroscopes and accelerometers, in order to guide their knee joint through a more natural bending motion. In developing nations, however, such expensive prostheses usually aren't an option. That's why a scientist from MIT is developing a knee that could allow inexpensive legs to perform like the fancy ones.

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— Good Thinking

ReWalk Robotics announces faster, sleeker exoskeleton

By - July 15, 2015 6 Pictures

There are now a number of powered exoskeletons either on the market or in development, all of which allow people who lack the use of their legs to walk in an upright position. The ReWalk device is without doubt the best-known, having been commercially available since 2012. This week, ReWalk Robotics announced the sixth version of the product, which is reportedly better-fitting, faster and less bulky than its predecessors.

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— Robotics

Mind-controlled telepresence robot to get paralyzed people out and about

By - June 30, 2015 2 Pictures

A telepresence robot developed at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) that can be controlled by thought may give people with severe motor disabilities a greater level of independence. Successfully put through its paces by 19 people scattered around Central Europe – nine of whom are quadriplegic and all of whom were hooked up to a brain-machine interface – the robot handled obstacle detection and avoidance on its own while the person controlling it gave general navigation instructions.

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— Health and Wellbeing

TheraTryke combines upper and lower body exercise for paraplegics

By - May 25, 2015 3 Pictures

After taking a look at the Jet Blade hydroplaning watercraft last week, we were alerted to another senior design project from Calvin College, Michigan. A different group of students has designed and prototyped a device they're calling the TheraTryke. Aimed at those with MS, spinal cord injuries, or complete paraplegics, it lets riders use their hands, feet or a combination of both together to propel themselves forward.

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