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The Cure – Episode 5 : Wearable Robot

The Cure – Episode 5 : Wearable Robot

For the millions of people worldwide suffering from some form of paralysis, the only mobility option remains the same as it did centuries ago – a wheelchair. But in the US, engineers have developed a wearable robot which allows people with paralysis to stand and walk.

 

Sue Austin: Deep sea diving … in a wheelchair

Sue Austin: Deep sea diving … in a wheelchair

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When Sue Austin got a power chair 16 years ago, she felt a tremendous sense of freedom — yet others looked at her as though she had lost something. In her art, she aims to convey the spirit of wonder she feels wheeling through the world. Includes thrilling footage of an underwater wheelchair that lets her explore ocean beds, drifting through schools of fish, floating free in 360 degrees. (Filmed at TEDxWomen.)

In repurposing her wheelchair to create fantastical art, Sue Austin reshapes how we think about disability.

WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HER?

Multimedia, performance and installation artist Sue Austin keeps a fascinating mission at the center her work: to challenge the idea of disabled as “other” and represent her experience as a wheelchair user in a brighter light. She does this by creating quirky, unexpected juxtapositions — bringing a sense of whimsy and empowerment to the discussion of disability.

Austin is the founder and artistic director of Freewheeling, an initiative aiming to further the genre of Disability Arts. In 2012, she was asked to be a part of the Cultural Olympiad in Britain, a celebration of the arts leading up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The work she created for the event, called “Creating the Spectacle!,” is a groundbreaking series of live art and video works of an underwater wheelchair.

“Like the athletes at the Paralympics, disabled artist Sue Austin is working to redefine the popular notion of disability. This week, she has been amazing spectators with a specially equipped wheelchair that lets her fly underwater.” PRI’s The World

 

Amos Winter: The cheap all-terrain wheelchair

Amos Winter: The cheap all-terrain wheelchair

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How do you build a wheelchair ready to blaze through mud and sand, all for under $200? MIT engineer Amos Winter guides us through the mechanics of an all-terrain wheelchair that’s cheap and easy to build — for true accessibility — and gives us some lessons he learned along the road.

Amos Winter and his team at MIT built the Leveraged Freedom Chair, a cheap lever-powered wheelchair whose design and develop put the user first.

WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM

Amos Winter wants to know: How do you redesign the wheelchair, an essential aid for millions, to be even better, more affordable, adaptable for the developing world, and able to face any type of terrain or weather? The answer is: the Leveraged Freedom Chair. Integrating science, engineering and user-driven design, Winter has developed a wheelchair that uses arm-powered levers that yield surprisingly simple, highly effective mechanical results. Even better, cheap parts means the chair costs under $200 and can be repaired easily, even in rural communities where resources are scarce.