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Disability

Good Thinking

Low-cost prosthetic arm protects itself (and its user) from burns

Amputees in developing nations frequently can't afford the high-end prostheses used by people in other parts of the world. That's why Technological University of Mexico spin-off company Protesta is developing a low-cost artificial arm made from lightweight polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic. As an added bonus, the arm will alert the user if it gets too hot.Read More

Sports

BMW developing high-tech racing wheelchair for 2016 Paralympic Games

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.Read More

Good Thinking

ReWalk Robotics announces faster, sleeker exoskeleton

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.Read More

Robotics

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

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.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

TheraTryke combines upper and lower body exercise for paraplegics

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.Read More

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