MIT researchers are demonstrating a new robotic exoskeleton leg system that takes the weight off your back when carrying a heavy pack. In recent experiments, they've demonstrated that the contraption can take 80 percent of the load of an 80 pound backpack. The current prototype apparently screws with your natural walking gait, but they're hoping to tweak the design to enable a normal stride. The research was led by professor Hugh Herr, a double amputee whose pioneering research in the Media Lab's Biomechatronics Group is focused on new prosthetic devices. From the MIT News Office:
Exoskeleton devices could boost the weight that a person can carry, lessen the likelihood of leg or back injury and reduce the perceived level of difficulty of carrying a heavy load.
The person wearing the exoskeleton places his or her feet in boots attached to a series of tubes that run up the leg to the backpack, transferring the weight of the backpack to the ground. Springs at the ankle and hip and a damping device at the knee allow the device to approximate the walking motion of a human leg, with a very small external power input (one watt).
Hearthcabinet's "Ventless Fireplaces" use "pre-filled alcohol gel cartridges" -- that is, proprietary logs. When Drew quizzed the company's reps about this on Facebook, they danced around the question, but yeah, it's proprietary logs all right. The company notes that the design is patented (the founder, a product liability attorney named Michael Weinberger, has many related […]
It being 2019, you may now buy a portable cassette player with Bluetooth functionality. Meet Its OK, a ~$65 gadget currently firing up Kickstarter. Chaim Gartenberg: the It’s OK does the usual tape things, like playing cassettes or letting you record to tapes, it also bills itself as the world’s first Bluetooth 5.0 portable cassette […]
Eurogamer’s Will Judd flirts with heresy: “Are mechanical keyboards really good for gaming?” When it comes to PC gaming peripherals, stats and specs drive purchases. Gaming monitors became popular because they offered lower latency or higher refresh rates, while gaming mice boasted higher sensitivities and improved tracking accuracy. Yet this quantitative trend doesn’t seem to […]
Whether you’re using them for next-level selfies or steady tracking shots, gimbals are a must for anyone who wants to maximize the potential of these powerful smartphone cameras we’re all carrying around. But those smartphones are also supposed to be portable, and let’s face it: Gimbals tend to offset that advantage. Weighing in at just […]
It’s too hot for yard sales, but hey: The internet is here for you. Here are the top ten deals on some of the Boing Boing Store’s best gear, just in time for summer. It’s everything from grills to security cameras to MacBook Pros, and they might be as low as they’re ever going to […]
When it comes to getting stats and ideas across quickly, there’s still nothing like a good slide presentation. But the critical word here is “good” – not 20 slides all thrown together with the same stock PowerPoint template. Whether it’s a crucial pitch for a new business or a quarterly report, Slideshop can be a […]