This is one of the stories I really enjoyed writing, as it deals with technology that can really change people's lives for the better, with immediate results. I think this type of work is quite meaningful and shows how robotics that the military was working on for soldiers in combat (something we think of as violent and life-threatening) can help someone regain a part of their life that may have been taken away by paralysis. I like to see this sort of research and development coming from both the military and the private sector.
Elizabeth, thanks for writing this. It was fun to see some detailed information about one of the robotic exoskeletions DN has covered in slideshows: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=240513 http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=255355
Great article. And fantastic to see the technology actually helping someone real in the present, as opposed to being a "futuristic thing" as Tagatac himself called it.
The spread of technology from the US defense and space R&D efforts are incredible and have changed all of our lives in ways that most people don't realize. I think this reality is what is most scary about our Congress cutting back funding somewhat indiscriminately (well, threatening to cut back in theory, for the foreseeable future) - a lot of this research will not/cannot happen in the private sector.
What a wonderful article and great example of technology trickledown. It was almost inevitable that research work on defense exoskeletons could be used in this way. Let's hope the research work continues, and companies like Ekso can keep developing the technology for uses such as this.
This is a great article seeing technology help people's lives. It is like the power suit in Aliens. It also reminds you to constantly stay safe when working. A small misstep can change your life forever.
@Elizabeth – It's nice to see how technology has helped mankind. The human body is a complicated machine, if a robot could be a part of it that's a great achievement. Medical and technology needs to both go hand in hand to make the device user-friendly and hassle-free.
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NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
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Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.