Archive for May, 2012

Paralyzed woman serves herself coffee for the 1st time in 15 years!

Friday, May 18th, 2012

A woman paralyzed 15 years ago, served herself coffee via a thermos and a straw. What’s so news worthy about that? Well, she’s a quadriplegic and she used a robotic arm that picked up the thermos and moved the arm by thought, via the “Braingate” interface designed by John Donoghue, a neuroscientist who pioneered the Braingate interface a decade ago.

It has gone from a quadriplegic being able to move a cursor on a computer screen to operating a robotic arm to serve coffee out of a thermos. This technology is amazing.

The woman also communicates via the interface by looking at a computer screen and highlighting each letter. The technology is still a long way from general use, but it is doing very well for trials in helping understand that the brain is still functional years after a brainstem injury.

Check out the article below and please watch the video:

Paralyzed woman moves Robotic Arm via Thought

Another company is using a robot to help the disabled… a man was able to give himself a shave with the use of a robot.

Robot helps quad shave himself

There are times…

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

That I really hate being disabled. And those times usually happen when something impeds my ability to get around. Right now, my motorized wheelchair, which I’ve had for a bit over a year, is throwing out error codes and when it does that, it beeps, and doesn’t go anywhere. *sigh* This started happening SATURDAY. I called the place where I bought the wheelchair, and they aren’t open on the weekends, unless it’s an emergency, and since Keith (my significant other) was here, they didn’t consider it to be an emergency, the repair guy couldn’t get to me until yesterday. Oh, really. And then, yesterday, my cellphone wasn’t working correctly, because the repair guy said he kept calling and leaving voice mails and I don’t have any record of that. So now, he’s coming tomorrow. We’ll see. I’m just basically stranded. The wheelchair is SORTA working. I can’t depend that it won’t start throwing out error codes again and just stop in the middle of whatever (the error codes basically state the joystick is out of center), and it caused me to have to use the wheelchair with the attendant joystick… which is a major PITA, because it requires BOTH hands, and doesn’t allow me to carry anything.

I was teasing Keith about his driving skills in regards to my wheelchair (using the attendant control), and I pretty much suck at it… *sigh* It’s harder than it looks. And I’ve been using a motorized wheelchair for nearly 10 years. One control change and I’m in trouble.