Wednesday, December 29, 2010

See HAL Exoskeleton In Las Vegas In January

Cyberdyne posted an announcement on their website yesterday that they will be exibiting the HAL exoskeleton for wheelchair users in Las Vegas at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES):

CYBERDYNE will exhibit and demonstrate Robot Suit HAL and TACTO, at the 2011 CES show in Las Vegas.

* Name of Event: 2011 International CES
* Date: Thursday January 6 thru Sunday January 9, 2011
* Venue: LVCC, South Hall 2, CES Robotics TechZone Las Vegas, Nevada
* Details: Exhibition and demonstration of Robot Suit HAL and TACTO

For more information visit the CES Exibitor Directory. Read more about the Hal Exoskeleton on the Exoskeleton Website.

If you attend the event, take a video, post it on YouTube and send me a link (RehaDesign "AT" Gmail "Dot" Com. I will be looking for the best videos from CES and will post them on the blog.

Monday, December 27, 2010

CNN Interview: eLEGS Exoskeleton for Wheelchair Users

I just watched this exciting CNN interview with Amanda Boxtel and Eythor Bender. Eythor is the CEO of Berkeley Bionics, the company that makes eLEGS and Amanda is their "test pilot". Watching Amanda is amazing. Not only is Amanda very charming but she is an excellent public speaker as well. This excellent interview and demonstration really shows the potential of exoskeletons:

Read more about exoskeletons for wheelchair users on the Exoskeleton Website.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Freedom Medical Robotics Developing Exoskeleton For Wheelchair Users

A Canadian company has recently announced that they have entered the race to develop an exoskeleton for wheelchair users.

However, Freedom Medical Robotics, located in Richmond, BC, Canada is not just working on developing any old exoskeleton. Freedom Medical Robotics is working on "keeping the size and weight of a powered exoskeletal walking aid down to the point where one could discreetly wear such a 'suit' under regular clothing."

This is also my vision. The exoskeletons currently being developed are a first, very important step. But these first exoskeletons will be bulky and slow. Exoskeletons of the future will be worn much the way that amputees wear prosthetics, that is hidden discreetly under clothing. They will be small, lightweight and allow a near normal gait. One day in the future, paraplegics will wear exoskeletons under clothing and walk without anyone even noticing that they are paralyzed.

Visit the website of Freedom Medical Robotics or read more about exoskeletons for wheelchair users.

Monday, December 20, 2010

We Are Sponsoring A Wheelchair User From Nepal!

The company that manufacturers RehaDesign Wheelchair Accessories is sponsoring a child from Nepal. This girl is a wheelchair user, a triple amputee.

We will be helping her to finish her education. She is now in high school and needs two more years to graduate. Then she hopes to enter law school.

We are working with the Nepal Youth Foundation. The Nepal Youth Foundation helps children in Nepal, through a variety of programs. We are working with the sponsor a child program via the Nepal Youth Foundation to help this girl.

We have only had one contact with this young lady, so we do not want to say too much more at this point. But when we have her permission to do so, we will post more information about her.

Friday, December 17, 2010

World's Fastest Mobility Scooter: An Interview With Colin Furze

Colin Furze is a stuntman, filmmaker and plumber from Stamford, England. He holds several World Records for stunts such as building the longest motorcycle and creating the world's biggest bonfire. Not everything he does is death defying. Some of what he does crosses stunts with fun, such as serving "fast food" on the highway. But not the type of fast food you have eaten. Colin delivers his fast food to customers while leaning out of a trailer speeding along a highway. Furze calls himself "Uncle Fuz" and calls his fun "A cross between top gear, scrapheap challenge, jackass and my brain". Some of his videos have gotten alot of attention such as when Colin was riding a scooter on the "The Wall Of Death" and it crashed!

Recently Colin built and raced the world's fastest mobility scooter. Watch Colin flying on his mobility scooter with the oversized engine:


I contacted Colin Furze to find out more. Read this interview with Uncle Fuz:

Gene: Where did you get the idea to create and drive the world's fastest mobility scooter?

Colin: I had a scooter given to me to play with from the local shop about 6 months before. It was old and not really good enough to sell. I have had a few ideas what to do with it but I saw someone going really slow on one (battries dying I think) and thought what's the fastest these can go and whats the fastest anyone has ever been on one? I looked on the net but there wasn't anything impressive so I contacted guinness to apply to set a record. Then off I went.

Gene: What is the fastest you have gone on your mobility scooter?

Colin: The fastest is 71.59mph which was done on 14th October, 2010 at Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire England

Gene: What did you do to get it to go so fast? Just replace the engine?

Colin: At first I wanted to do it with an electric motor. But motors that will get you up to those speeds are expensive so instead I took the engine out my motocross bike and fitted that. The hardest thing was hiding it all. Guinness stated it must look like a normal mobility scooter so bigger wheels and things where out of the question.

Gene: I dont think that mobility scooters were designed for that kind of speed. Did you do anything to make it more stable?

Colin: Ha, no nothing at all. So it was very unstable and eratic at speeds over about 20mph so at 71 its abit of a hand full.

Gene: Have you made it into the Guinness Book of World Records?

Colin: As of yet I haven't had conformation from them to say they have approved it (you have to send all the evidence of the timing) But should know pretty soon I hope.

Gene: Do you have any suggestions for someone else who is considering modifying their mobility scooter?

Colin: Yes find the biggest scooter to start with it will make it easier, hehe.

Gene: Do you have any other plans for your mobility scooter?

Colin: Yes I'm working on a Christmas themed modification and hope it will be ready at the end of the week but its proving quite hard. Also I might be making a DVD of these as I have lots of film of doing things with and on mobility scooters and simler things but havent decided to relese that or just put them on youtube. What do you think? Would there be a market for that sort of video? Its all comedy based as you can guess.

Gene: Colin, I am not sure. I have seen some pretty wild stuff on your YouTube Channel. So, if it is like that, it could be pretty popular. I wish you the best of luck and if you have any news about your mobility scooter plans, please keep us udated.

Read more about mobility scooters from the Mobility Scooter website.

This interview with Colin Furze is COPYRIGHTED and may not be reproduced without written permission.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Research on Exoskeletons For Wheelchair Users: Your Help Is Needed

I have spoken with Christopher Wilder, Executive Director of Valley Medical Center Foundation about a new research project being conducted at the Valley Medical Center on the eLegs exoskeleton for wheelchair users.

Chris has confirmed that a new eLEGS study will start at Valley Medical Center in January 2011. The project seeks to prove the efficacy and safety of working with patients using eLegs in a clinical rehab setting. How long does it take to teach a patient to use them? How long does it take to train the trainers? How much space does it require? etc.

Chris is responsible for fundraising for the The VMC Foundation. He told me that the foundation is hoping to raise a total of $130K, of which $20K has been raised, to ensure the program moves as quickly as possible and can start as soon as January 2011. A donation to the fund during this holiday season will be very timely and also help to progress the research on exoskeletons for wheelchair users.

For more information contact Chris at The VMC Foundation or donate from the VMC Foundation Facebook page.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Wheelchair Discrimination At A NYC Club?

Watch what happens to this wheelchair user at Swing 46 Club in New York City:

"Fred" posted this explanation together with the video on Youtube:

This was going to be a nice video of me dancing after coming 3500 miles from
England to visit what I was told was the best swing/lindy dance venue in
Manhatten. Unfortunatly the owner (John), took a dislike to having someone with
a disability dancing in his club so this video was cut short and I left his half
empty venue, shocked and upset.

I wrote to both Fred, the wheelchair user as well as Judith, the owner of the nightclub. I got statements from both. Then I asked a disability lawyer for his thoughts. Read what Fred, Judith and the lawyer have to say in this interview about disability law.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Featured on GLEE! ReWalk Exoskeleton For Wheelchair Users

ReWalk exoskeleton for wheelchair users was featured in yesterday's Christmas Episode of Glee. Watch Artie, the character on Glee who uses a wheelchair, walk using a ReWalk Exoskeleton:

Apparently Artie just found it under the Christmas tree. With a retail price in excess of $100,000 that is quite an amazing Christmas present. Read more about Exoskeletons for Wheelchair Users on the Exoskeleton Website.

Monday, December 6, 2010

ReWalk Exoskeleton For Wheelchair Users On Good Morning America

Are you wondering what it is like to walk again using an exoskeleton? This video from ABC's Good morning America features several wheelchair users who are participants in the ReWalk Clinical trials at Moss Rehab Institute.

Watch this video of ReWalk Exoskeleton for Wheelchair users:

Friday, December 3, 2010

New Wheelchair Umbrella System Launched

Are you tired of getting drenched in your wheelchair? Are you looking for a way to stay dry without having to attach anything to your wheelchair?

Consider the Brella Buddy, the hands free way to hold an umbrella.

The Brella Buddy not only holds an umbrella keeping your hands free to push the wheelchair, it can protect your valuables as well.

The Brella Buddy has several inside pockets. There is one inside pocket large enough to hold a collapsible umbrella for after the rain has stopped. But there is also a zipped, netted pocket to safely hold your valuables. Since the Brelly Buddy is secured to your body and the netted pocket is zipped it would be nearly impossible for anyone to remove anything from there without you knowing about it.

Have a look at the Brella Buddy, the new hands free wheelchair umbrella holder ideal for wheelchair users.