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Old 10-11-2011, 09:25 AM   #1
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Options for the seriously disabled

Disabled Rider Gets Robotic Arm in Oakland

(That's Oakland, PA)

I was browsing the news on Slashdot this morning and came across this story:
A simple act for most people proved to be a major advance in two decades of research that has proven to be the stuff of science fiction.

Mr. Hemmes' success in putting the robotic hand in the waiting hand of Ms. Schaffer, 27, of Philadelphia, represented the first time a person with quadriplegia has used his mind to control a robotic arm so masterfully.
What made it all the more relevant was the next paragraph:
The 30-year-old man from Connoquenessing Township, Butler County, hadn't moved his arms, hands or legs since a motorcycle accident seven years earlier.
Mr. Hemmes became quadriplegic July 11, 2004, apparently after a deer darted onto the roadway, causing him to swerve his motorcycle onto gravel where his shoulder hit a mailbox, sending him flying headfirst into a guardrail. The top of his helmet became impaled on a guardrail I-beam, rendering his head motionless while his body continued flying, snapping his neck at the fourth cervical vertebra.

A passer-by found him with blue lips and no signs of breathing. Mr. Hemmes was flown by rescue helicopter to UPMC Mercy and diagnosed with quadriplegia -- a condition in which he had lost use of his limbs and his body below the neck or shoulders. He had to learn how to breathe on his own. His doctor told him it was worst accident he'd ever seen in which the person survived.

But after the process of adapting psychologically to quadriplegia, Mr. Hemmes chose to pursue a full life, especially after he got a device to operate a computer and another to operate a wheelchair with head motions.
A month ago, I went down myself on Redwood during my evening commute when a deer jumped out in a turn... fortunately I escaped with just a broken clavicle (quickly repaired by surgery) and a badly sprained ankle. However, having read Adam's unfortunate incident (and subsequent pow-pow-powerwheels augmentation), this made me wonder if there's some better robotic bling in some riders' futures, and a better future for them.
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:14 PM   #2
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There does seem to be a few options out there mentioned around BARF. I personally saw a sidecar for a wheelchair but someone else was the pilot and some other BARFers saw (or maybe thought of) the same setup but the controls were on the sidecar as well.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:58 PM   #3
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:43 PM   #4
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:33 PM   #5
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:07 PM   #6
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Thanks for the link. Cool stuff! Sorry to hear about your accident.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
There does seem to be a few options out there mentioned around BARF. I personally saw a sidecar for a wheelchair but someone else was the pilot and some other BARFers saw (or maybe thought of) the same setup but the controls were on the sidecar as well.
check this one out.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:37 PM   #8

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