• Monthly Archives: May 2011

Jonathan Naber 2010 $30000 Lemelson MIT Illinois Student Prize winner 2010 [context]

Jonathan Naber developed a prosthetic arm that can be built from plastic parts, has no socket but bars and straps and is cheap to build. He also founded IPT – the Illini Prosthetic Team.

Now, I watched his presentation [below] that and went …. hm. Hasn’t that been done before? Haven’t we heard these third world cheap prosthetic limbs would actually be so uncomfortable to not be worn at all in the developing regions that actually were (un)lucky enough to get them? Best to really start field testing soon.

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What A Wonderful World [chill]

It is always a feat to watch Louis Armstrong perform. Back in the days they would have cut him off dry had he talked about racism. Instead of pointing fingers, he took the song “What A Wonderful World” that praises the rest – but not the way adults treat each other.

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Established companies find that customers like TOTALLY different designs [market relevant developments]

It is not just that prosthetic part manufacturers find their business is a bit of a stalemate. After all, optical glasses – a form of prosthetic enhancement of our visual system – today is a thriving business that, as opposed to the prosthetic limb business, is fashionable, affordable, fun, honest and open, contains (at least in Switzerland) a relatively high price for the unit (i.e. 1 pair of glasses) and from then on free maintenance.

What made that happen? What can we see in the market, maybe in other products, that helps us drive the prosthetic market?

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Toshiba launches fuel cells for mobile devices [tech news]

While large scale combustion can be bad for the environment fuel still has the highest energy density wide and far and for mobile applications, saving volume and weight while extending (temporal) range is the goal of any power source.

With prosthetic arms, the trend is clearly going towards more functionality but currently it is unclear how. For anyone who is interested in seeing value for money, now is a good time to wait as developments appear to be under way.

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