Saturday, November 29, 2008

Game is on!

It's a complete lack of respect! We're on the TV mid-season... and there's literally nothing to see on the telli. A couple of weeks ago, it caught us off guard, and we had to watch (about one hour of) "highschool musical". To be honest, I was curious about what is all the fuzz about it... and it was exactly as expected: garbage. Today's movie on the telli was Hanna Montana... so I immediately popped "chicken run" into the DVD player before it could cause some permanent damage to our neurons. I think that kind of disney movies are more damaging than letting kids watch Barney, violence or old disney docos on the tube. They are literally brain washing kid's minds into zombies with empty laundried heads. Those movies should have some kind of advisory, like : "this movie may cause permanent loss of neurons and/or turn them into froot-loops".

Anyway, game is on to develop a fully functional exoskeleton. My favourite at this stage has to be the ReWalk by Argo Medical Tecnologies and Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks. It still looks terrible, and there's something to be done about that horrible battery pack... but ASIMO also looked horrible on his early days. So, there's still some hope to see the ReWalk evolving into something more refined. It's already amazing to watch how it works on a patient with SCI T8 which is usually a severe injury.

Honda's exolegs were also unveilled recently. They are like some kind od device out of an anime movie. They are designed for people who can walk on their own, but who can benefit from additional leg and body support while performing tasks, like the example of the guy lifting some heavy objects on a factory line. I have my concerns about spinal chord injuries if the legs have a mechanic boost, and the torso is left on its own... but surely the guy is not going to lift a piano.

It was just a matter of time until kitsch could finally reach the medical gadgets. Kitsch is omnipresent, is inevitable... Milan Kundera was right, it's metaphysical! Kayhan Haj-Ali-Ahmadi and Joanna Hawley developed this "Eames inspired prothesis"... later on we'll have the "Venturi arm", the "Giovannoni limbs" or the "Stark's breast prothesis". Bring it on! That's something that Victor Papanek would be proud of.

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Blogger Kate said...

thanks for the post- i'm fascinated by the direction exoskeletons and prosthetics are heading. there's a bit on thought-powered prosthetics here:

9:44 PM  
Blogger Fernando Vallejo said...

WOW! The catia demo videos are quite impressive!

My concern with "plasticine" modeling has been, how much is the final shape determined by the available modeling tools. I mean, in older times, the shapes of the objects were also determined by the tools, and materials of those times... however, because blueprints were made using rulers and paper, there was (at least in some cases) some degree of "vitruvian" proportions... because there was the need to do some previous planning and lots of reference lines to draw a tree point circle for example. Now it seems that the internal subdivisions are more "arbitrary" because it's just "drag and drop".

Take the example of the chair, and think about how it would have been done in pre-cad times. Of course it was a very hard thing to do. We would have to ask Charles & Ray Eames how difficult it was. So, my concern is that we're gaining on speed modeling tools and technology, but we're losing our sense of proportions in beautiful objects. The question is how to bring that back into the design process. Looking forward to read what Ayse Birsel said.


11:58 PM  

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