Paralyzed Man Uses Exoskeleton to Complete Marathon
Exciting news out of the UK – 34-year-old Simon Kindleysides has become the first paralyzed man to complete the London Marathon on foot.
The father of three was diagnosed in 2013 with an inoperable brain tumor which resulted in paralysis from the waist down. So just how did Kindleysides complete the race by foot? He used an exoskeleton suit.
Manufacturered by ReWalk, the personal exoskeleton is in its sixth iteration, and the technology has improved to the point where users can enjoy precise fit and high walking speeds, all with a natural gait that makes it comfortable enough for all-day use. It works by providing powered hip and knee motion for users with disabilities and, in this case, it helped power Kindleysides through 26.2 miles.
It took him 36 hours to walk the course, and he needed to pause to rest for a few hours after the first half, but he made it in an hour less time than his goal of 37 hours. His efforts helped raise over $8,600 pounds for Britain’s Brain Tumor Charity.
Eat It, Turtles
When I was a child, my mother always insisted we cut the six-pack rings from our soda cans before throwing them away because inevitably, if we didn’t, they would wind up around the neck of a bird. I still do this today because I was so traumatized by the thought, and since America’s plastic problem has only magnified since the 1980s, it’s likely we’ve gotten nowhere on this.
That it, until now. A Florida-based brewery has re-envisioned the 6-pack ring in a way that brings sustainability to a problem packaging design – these new 6-pack rings are 100 percent biodegradable, and they’re edible.
Said to be created using barley and wheat ribbons that are byproducts of the beer-making process, the new packaging is designed to be safe for aquatic animals to eat. Saltwater Brewery’s brand head says the small brewery was created by “fisherman, surfer’s and people who love the sea” and they hope to get the bigger breweries onboard in their efforts to keep plastic out of waterways.
The packaging took two years to perfect and it’s considered an ambitious project for the relatively small brewery, who is currently testing the packaging with a select group of craft brewers nationwide. So even if you don’t live in Florida, more than likely, you’ll see these in your area at some point. No word on how the cost compares to traditional plastic packaging, but breweries will perhaps see the positive marketing outweigh the hard costs.
It’s Tea Time in Your Maybach
If you’ve ever wondered what an electric car for the uber-rich would look like, you can stop. Wondering. Because we’re going to tell you.
When you’re so rich that a Mercedes-Benz isn’t good enough for you, you look to their ultra-luxury division Maybach who just revealed its latest crossover model named, aptly, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury.
Because China is on a tear to get more electrics and fewer gas vehicles on its polluted roadway, this has been designed for use in the far East, but it’s not for everyone. It probably works best with a chauffeur because you’ll have other things to do – namely, enjoy a cup of hot tea. A retractable center console houses a full traditional tea service, believe it or not, complete with pot, cups and a wooden tray.
Additionally, the Maybach is decked out in rose gold and aluminum accents atop stitched white leather and surrounded by ornamental ebony wood on the doors and, of course, in your tea service. When you’re done being blinded by your own wealth, consider the mechanicals – 750 horsepower from four motors will yield 200 miles in electric mode. An 80kWh battery pack features fast-charging capabilities that can add 60 miles of range in just five minutes.
If this all makes you salivate with envy, take comfort in the fact that the designers of the Ultimate Luxury made one fatal flaw – they put a trunk on it. Eww.
Filling in for David Mantey, I’m Anna Wells and this is Engineering by Design.