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Mobility

— Health & Wellbeing

A-Gear exoskeletons keep users' arms useful

Affecting approximately 1 in 5,000 boys, Duchenne muscular dystrophy causes the victim's muscles to shrink throughout their lifetime, often to the point that the arms and legs can't be used at all. That's why the european Stichting Flextension (Flextension Foundation) started up the A-Gear project four years ago. The multi-partner effort is designing two arm-worn exoskeletons, intended to help Duchenne patients retain the use of their arms.

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— 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.

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— Urban Transport

8 forward-thinking vehicles to propel us into 2016

The continued minituarization of electronics, advances in materials technology, a growing emphasis on clean, sustainable modes of transport and imaginative thinkers with out-of-the-box ideas have converged to give us some truly audacious vehicle designs over the past 12 months. Some are certainly more practical than others, but from personal tricopters to amphibious motorcycles this new breed of personal mobility solutions offers a tantalizing glimpse into how we might be getting from A to B in the future. As we head into a new year with new possibilities, let's take a look at some that could have a role to play in shaping the future of transport.

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— Urban Transport

Liberty Trike ain't your grandpa's mobility scooter – but it could be

Although mobility scooters may be a godsend to the elderly and other people who have difficulty getting around, they certainly don't provide much in the way of exercise. Electric Bike Technologies' folding Liberty Trike is designed to change that. Riders can use it in plain ol' throttle mode just like on a regular scooter, but they can also pedal if they want.

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— Bicycles

Ford rolls autonomous and smart tech into new city/road/mountain e-bike

Earlier this year, Ford previewed its Mode:Me and Mode:Pro electric bike concepts. The bikes were envisioned as key components of a multimodal transportation ecosystem that would also incorporate cars and public transit. Recently, it added the Mode:Flex e-bike prototype, which uses the latest wireless and connectivity technologies to integrate further into a coordinated transportation system.

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— Health & Wellbeing

B-Free wheelchair claws its way up and down stairs

We've seen various stair-climbing wheelchairs over the years, including the iBot, the Chiba and, most recently, the Scalevo. All those designs kept the "wheel" in the chair, but a new design from Hong Kong relies on a set of robotic "pedrails" that look almost like skinny tank tracks. These articulated pedrails allow the electric B-Free Chair to grip the staircase firmly as it navigates up or down.

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— Health & Wellbeing

Unpowered ankle exoskeleton takes a load off calf muscles to improve walking efficiency

We might have started off in the water, but humans have evolved to be extremely efficient walkers, with a walk in the park being, well, a walk in the park. Human locomotion is so efficient that many wondered whether it was possible to reduce the energy cost of walking without the use of an external energy source. Now researchers at Carnegie Mellon and North Carolina State have provided an answer in the affirmative with the development of an unpowered ankle exoskeleton. Read More
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