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Disability


— Science

Spinal implant could one day let paralyzed people walk again

By - January 9, 2015 3 Pictures
Three years ago, scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) reported success in getting rats with severed spinal cords to walk again. They did so by suspending the animals in a harness, then using implants to electrically stimulate neurons in their lower spinal cord. Although this ultimately resulted in the rats being able to run on their previously-paralyzed hind legs, the technology still wasn't practical for long-term use in humans. Thanks to new research conducted at EPFL, however, that may no longer be the case. Read More
— Outdoors

Rocket Mobility targets disabled outdoors lovers with all-terrain wheelchairs

By - December 18, 2014 8 Pictures
Whoever said that losing your mobility also meant giving up your independence? We've already seen that the adventurous wheelchair user or walking-impaired person can head off road with a six-wheeled electric all-terrain vehicle or a caterpillar-tracked micro EV drive train. Now there's another option: Rocket Mobility's Tomahawk all-terrain personal utility vehicle, which allows the wheelchair-bound to traverse up to 12 miles (19 km) cross country at a maximum speed of 6 mph (10 km/h). Read More
— Robotics

Quadriplegic successfully uses mind-controlled robotic arm

By - December 18, 2014 3 Pictures
In 2012, a quadriplegic woman managed to move a robotic arm, using only her thoughts, to a level of proficiency that allowed her to eat a chocolate bar using said arm. The University of Pittsburgh team behind the study didn't stop there, though. By improving the technology in the arm and working more closely with test subject Jan Scheuermann, they have since enabled her to replace the simple pincer grip of before with four new hand shapes – fingers spread, pinch, scoop, and thumb up – that allow for more complicated object manipulation. Read More
— 3D Printing

Disabled dog is now able to run, thanks to 3D-printed prostheses

By - December 17, 2014
Derby the dog faced a challenge right from Day One. Due to a congenital deformity, he was born with very small forelegs and no front paws. This resulted in his ending up in the care of Hillsborough, New Hampshire-based dog rescue group, Peace and Paws. Fortunately, he then proceeded into the foster home of Tara Anderson. She works for 3D printing company 3D Systems (3DS), and set about using her employer's technology to make him a set of prostheses. As a result, he's now able to run for the first time. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Adapted Wii games aid in stroke victim rehab

By - December 10, 2014 3 Pictures
Paralysis or problems controlling movement are among the most common disabilities resulting from stroke and have a major impact on everyday life. Lancaster University researchers say seven out of 10 stroke survivors suffer from arm weakness as a result of their stroke, and only a fifth of these people ever regain the full use of their arm. A new study suggests the Nintendo Wii could provide an effective, economical and fun rehabilitation tool for stroke victims. Read More
— Urban Transport

Carbon Black might just be the coolest wheelchair on the block

By - November 26, 2014 12 Pictures
Since suffering a broken back at age 14, Andrew Slorance has imagined reinventing the wheelchair. Now, more than 30 years following his spinal injury, the broadcast journalist-turned entrepreneur is finally setting the wheels in motion. Slorance's Carbon Black is a sleek, minimalistic design aimed at giving wheelchair users an efficient and stylish new way of getting around. Read More
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