Human Augmentation Is Now a Thing With Superflex #WearableWednesday
Nonprofit SRI International has been doing innovative work in so many areas that it boggles the mind—space, biomed, energy, education, security and plenty of gov research. One of their successful research groups in robotics has become its own company bearing the name of its wearable, Superflex, as reported by TechCrunch. Think of this full body suit as the softer version of Ironman.
… that little boost is intended to be the difference that lets someone in physical therapy walk normally, or prevents a soldier getting lumbar problems from carrying 50 pounds on her back all day.
You are probably skeptical thinking this is going to morph into a supersuit, but new head Rich Mahoney insists the project is practical and for the average person.
There’s opportunity to create products that will enhance performance, maybe like for extreme sports kinds of scenarios, but there are just so many people that don’t have good options for living a normal life, in terms of their mobility and the ways they can engage with the world. There’s a preference for us to really do something worthwhile with this technology.
This is a nice addition to the open source movement of 3D printed prosthetics and hopefully the suit will come with a price tag that actually makes it affordable for the masses. Of course I’m hopeful that the open source version of this suit will someday be available as well. What if different makerspaces could specialize in their own modules with one makerspace doing final assembly and testing? It’s a big dream, but as functionality grows and costs reduce, it may come to be. Color me optimistic. Until then, you can get started in understanding this medtech. Prosthetics and assistive robotics frequently use muscle sensing to initiate movement, and it just so happens that we have a tutorial on Getting Started with MyoWare. Find out how muscle sensors can work with your projects and get twitching!
Eink, E-paper, Think Ink – Collin shares six segments pondering the unusual low-power display technology that somehow still seems a bit sci-fi – http://adafruit.com/thinkink
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.