Paralyzed man breaks world record for finishing a marathon in an exoskeleton suit

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Adam Gorlitsky says groups of people kept him going as he finished mile after mile of the 2020 Charleston Marathon.

(CNN)A South Carolina man competing in the 2020 Charleston Marathon has beaten the world record for the fastest time to finish a marathon in an exoskeleton suit.

Adam Gorlitsky, who is paralyzed from the waist down, completed Saturday’s 26.2-mile race with a time of 33 hours, 50 minutes and 23 seconds, Cory Michel, one of the organizers of the Charleston Marathon, told CNN.

The current record holder is British man Simon Kindleysides, who finished the 2018 London Marathon in 36 hours and 46 minutes, according to Guinness World Records.

Guinness has not certified Gorlitsky’s race results, which Gorlitsky said he plans to submit to the organization Monday.

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Guardian XO: A powered exoskeleton that makes you 20 times stronger

Imagine lifting 100 pounds as though it were only five. That’s the promise of the Guardian XO, a wearable robot that helps you lift heavy objects without straining or injuring your body. Bonus? It looks like a super cool powered exoskeleton from science fiction.

Designed for military applications and industries like construction that require a lot of manual labor, the Guardian XO from Sarcos Robotics has been in development for 20 years. The first alpha models will roll out in January to the US military and some industry customers, with commercial units shipping in late 2020. The XO can run for up to eight hours at a time, thanks to hot-swappable batteries. With 24 degrees of freedom, you can move normally while wearing the suit. It doesn’t get in the way when you’re walking, lifting your arms above your head or crouching down.

Sarcos Robotics says this is the world’s first battery-powered robot that can help you safely lift up to 200 pounds (90 kg). I got the chance to see it in action at the company’s headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, where walking robots, powered prosthetics and exoskeletons line the hallways. Watch the video to see what it’s like to wear the Guardian XO.

Via CNet.com

 

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New virtual reality interface enables “touch” across long distances

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Lightweight, flexible patch conveys a tactile sensation directly to the skin

Adding a sense of touch can make virtual reality experiences feel more real.

A woman sits at a computer, video chatting with her young son while she gently pats an interface on a separate screen. In response, a wireless patch on the child’s back vibrates in a pattern that matches his mother’s fingers, allowing him to “feel” her physical touch.

The new patch is a type of haptic device, a technology that remotely conveys tactile signals. A common example is video game controllers that vibrate when the player’s avatar takes a hit. Some researchers think more advanced, wearable versions of such interfaces will become a vital part of making virtual and augmented reality experiences feel like they are actually happening. “If you take a look at what exists today in VR and AR, it consists primarily of auditory and visual channels as the main basis for the sensory experience,” says John A. Rogers, a physical chemist and material scientist at Northwestern University, whose team helped develop the new haptic patch. “But we think that the skin itself—the sense of touch—could qualitatively add to your experience that you could achieve with VR, beyond anything that’s possible with audio and video.”

Scientists, technology companies and do-it-yourself-ers have experimented with wearable haptic devices, often vests or gloves equipped with vibrating motors. But many of these require heavy battery packs connected by a mess of wires. Because of their weight, most have to be attached loosely to the body instead of adhering securely to the skin. So, Rogers and his colleagues developed a vibrating disk, only a couple millimeters thick, that can run with very little energy. These actuators (a term for devices that give a system physical motion) need so little energy that they can be powered by near-field communication—a wireless method of transferring small amounts of power, typically used for applications like unlocking a door with an ID card.

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Smart contacts: The future of the wearable you won’t even see

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One day, contact lenses could do much more than just correct our vision

The notion of wearing lenses over our eyes to correct our vision dates back hundreds of years, with some even crediting Leonardo da Vinci as one of the first proponents of the idea (though that remains somewhat controversial). Material science and our understanding of the human eye have come a long way since, while their purpose has remained largely the same. In the age of wearable computers, however, scientists in the laboratories of DARPA, Google, and universities around the world see contact lenses not just as tools to improve our vision, but as opportunities to augment the human experience. But how? And why?

As a soft, transparent disc of plastic and silicone that you wear on your eyeball, a contact lens may seem like a very bad place to put electronics. But if you look beneath the surface, the idea of a smart contact lens has real merit, and that begins with its potential to improve our well-being.

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Smart glasses, smart designer babies and the future of work

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John B. Goodenough, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry last month, struggled to learn to read. “Back then,” he says, “You were just a backwards student.”

His experience is still all too common, yet he and many like him demonstrate clearly that dyslexia is not a definitive barrier to career achievement. We must ask ourselves if our entry level recruitment and education systems should always depend on literacy.

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HUD swim goggles put performance data in your face

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Form Swim Goggles sell for US$199

Competitive swimmers certainly like to track their performance, often using devices such as swim watches – the problem is, the athletes have to stop to look at those things. A Vancouver-based startup is out to address that problem, with its head-up display (HUD) Form Swim Goggles.

Looking for the most part like regular goggles, the Forms are equipped with an IMU (inertial measurement unit), a microprocessor, and a Google Glass-like transparent projection screen that can be worn alongside the left or right lens.

With some help from the IMU’s accelerometer and gyroscope, the processor is able to track metrics such as split time, interval time, rest time, total time, stroke rate, stroke count, distance per stroke, pace per 100, pace per 50, distance, length count, and calories burned. Selected bits of that data are continuously displayed via the screen, superimposed over the wearer’s view of the pool.

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Sony is crowdfunding a wearable ‘air conditioner’

 

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The Reon Pocket helps you stealthily cope with heatwaves and cold winters.

Are you struggling to cope with the heat outdoors? Sony might have a solution, if not as soon as you might like. The company’s First Flight program is crowdfunding a wearable ‘air conditioner,’ the Reon Pocket, that slips into a pouch in a special t-shirt. The stealthy device doesn’t condition the air as such. Rather, it sits at the base of your neck and uses the Peltier effect (where heat is absorbed or emitted when you pass an electrical current across a junction) to either lower your temperature by 23F or raise it by 14F, all without bulk or noise. You could wear a stuffy business outfit on a hot day and avoid looking like you’ve just stepped out of a sauna.

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Self-Powered wearable tech

 

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For emerging wearable tech to advance, it needs improved power sources. Now researchers from Michigan State University have provided a potential solution via crumpled carbon nanotube forests, or CNT forests.

Changyong Cao, director of MSU’s Soft Machines and Electronics Laboratory, led a team of scientists in creating highly stretchable supercapacitors for powering wearable electronics. The newly developed supercapacitor has demonstrated solid performance and stability, even when it is stretched to 800% of its original size for thousands of stretching/relaxing cycles.

The team’s results, published in the journal Advanced Energy Materials, may spur the development of new stretchable energy electronic systems, implantable biomedical devices, as well as smart packaging systems.

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‘Smart’ pajamas could monitor and help improve sleep

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Ordinary-looking pajamas are transformed into “smart” ones with five strategically placed sensors that measure heartbeat, respiration and posture.

If you’ve ever dreamed about getting a good night’s sleep, your answer may someday lie in data generated by your sleepwear. Researchers have developed pajamas embedded with self-powered sensors that provide unobtrusive and continuous monitoring of heartbeat, breathing and sleep posture — all factors that play a role in how well a person slumbers.

If you’ve ever dreamed about getting a good night’s sleep, your answer may someday lie in data generated by your sleepwear. Researchers have developed pajamas embedded with self-powered sensors that provide unobtrusive and continuous monitoring of heartbeat, breathing and sleep posture — all factors that play a role in how well a person slumbers. The “smart” garments could give ordinary people, as well as clinicians, useful information to help improve sleep patterns.

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RP Technologies help Cross Sword to launch luxury men’s high heel shoes

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Cross Sword contacted RP Technologies after being recommended to use their prototype tooling & plastic injection moulding services. After initially contacting 2 different companies, both of which created more problems than solutions, Daniel Bush, founder of Cross Sword was relieved that RP listened to his needs and developed a solution to help launch his latest product.

Cross Sword develop and sell luxury high heel shoes for men that have a classic look. The company identified a lack of products for those that wish to wear masculine styled shoes with a high heel so launched the start-up company to offer a comfortable solution for the male high heel wearer.

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A new shirt can help deaf people feel music

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Tech-infused fashion isn’t just about looking good—it can have some groundbreaking uses too, as a company called CuteCircuit is proving.

The London-based tech-fashion firm, which has recently provided Katy Perry with (literally) flashy outfits, has just successfully tested a shirt that can help deaf people feel the music they cannot hear.

The Sound Shirt is an adaptation of a CuteCircuit concept called the Hug Shirt, of which the company has produced around 100 prototypes over the last decade. A German orchestra, the Jungen Symphoniker Hamburg, commissioned then bought this latest version.

The Sound Shirt is connected to a computer system that picks up the audio from microphones placed at various points around the orchestra’s stage. It is filled with actuators, which are little motors that vibrate in relation to the intensity of the music being played, in real time.

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Amazon built an electronic vest to improve worker/robot interactions

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Over the course of the last year, Amazon began rolling out a new worker safety wearable to 25+ sites. From the looks of it, the Robotic Tech Vest is really more like a pair of suspenders attached to an electronic utility belt. The Amazon Robotics-designed product was created to keep workers safe when they need to enter a space in order to fix a robotic system or retrieve fallen items. Built-in sensors alert Amazon’s robotic systems to the wearer’s presence, and they slow down to avoid collision.

The vest is designed to work in tandem with the robots’ existing obstacle avoidance detection.

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