We’ve all done it before. We want to get somewhere and suddenly our phone buzzes in our pocket, not wanting to seem rude we start texting back while walking along. This is done by hundreds, if not thousands, of people on a daily basis and I’ve got bad news if you live in New Jersey because this act could soon become illegal.
The “distracted walking” measure is being proposed by state assemblywoman, Pamela Lampitt, and could see anything that distracts you thanks to technology walking made illegal in New Jersey. It’s not the first time a law has targeted this issue, a bill that’s currently pending in Hawaii could see you fined $250 if you crossed the street with an electronic device in your hand, and this is just one of many proposed bills that could see people fined for being distracted from walking and moving in public while on their electric devices.
The law would see anyone who is caught walking while texting and stop people from walking near public roads with electronic communication devices in their hands. The punishment for this crime would be $50 or 15 days imprisonment, or even worse, both. This comes in at the same penalty as jaywalking and would see half the funds allocated to “safety education about the dangers of walking and texting”.
Is this too far? Some see it as the government trying to distract people from real issues but addressing small ones that could be fixed with better education regarding the dangers in the first place. Could the police catch you if you even broke the law? If you stopped and finished a text, could they still arrest you? We will have to see.
Exoskeletons have long been a thing of fiction, with movies like Aliens showing us large mechs that could move crates and giant aliens with ease, but in recent years people have seen the technology become realistic and helpful, such as homemade exo’s making lifting weights easy or even the army developing exo’s to improve shooting. Now with a little help from electricity they could soon be developing something close to a miracle, letting people walk again.
Mark Pollok was paralyzed from the waist down in 2010, with no control of his lower body he began testing out Ekso Bionics Exoskeleton. While an exoskeleton could give people back control of their body they have displayed even greater results by using a process known as “transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation”. This means that by attaching electrodes to Mark’s skin they were able to send jolts of electric to his spine.
All communication in the body is electric charges and by using this process they were able to see results. During the experiment, Mark was able to regain some control over his legs, to the point where he could raise and flex his knees.
Combining these two processes they were able to give Mark some ability to walk again, he was even able to sweat (something that he has been unable to do since the accident in 2010).
Technology can do many things, but sometimes it’s giving people the chance to do what we call simple that makes it amazing.
Walking with a spring in your step, something that is about to become a very literal thing. The new exoskeleton technology doesn’t need advanced robotics or a medical procedure to enjoy its benefits. It slips on like a boot, uses your own muscle power to operate and can make walking a whole lot easier.
Engineers at Carnegie Mellon University created the effort-reducing ankle exoskeleton. The walking assist clutch operates a spring in parallel to your Achilles tendon, which in turn offloads strain on the calf muscles and makes walking easier. This can help people walk further and longer, but could also help people who have difficulty in moving, or existing medical conditions that require you to reduce the strain on your legs.
“I’ll tell you, it feels really cool,” Sawicki said. “There’s a comfortable sort of squishiness for the first 10 minutes. But then it becomes totally transparent. Your body just integrates it.”
It’s still in the prototype stage, but the inexpensive solution is still very cool and one we look forward to seeing developed further.
“When you take it off, you’re like, ‘oh, crap,'” Sawicki said. “You don’t realize how much it helped until it’s gone. You feel really clunky for a few minutes.”
Boston Dynamics, a company now owned by Google, has a new robot to join their other creepy animal-like bots. He/she/it is called Spot, just like the name you might give to a dog. Spot is much smaller compared to their other robots and it also has a body quite similar to that of a dog.
The new bot is much more nimble across rough terrain compared to its older brother, ‘BigDog’. Spot can also climb stairs and run at quite a fast pace. It’s also pretty good at taking kicks from evil humans, recovering, quite eerily, in much the same way a dog would. Well, a dog would probably try to attack back, while Spot can’t (for now, that is).
Watch the video below to see Spot alongside some of its family members, all of them in training before they take over the human race.