Heroes

A group of Swiss students just conquered one of the biggest obstacles for wheelchair users: stairs.

It's the closest thing to an all-terrain wheelchair the world has ever seen.

Wheelchairs have been around for hundreds of years. And while improvements have been made over time, one obstacle remained — stairs.

Last year, a group of 10 Swiss students unveiled the prototype of a project that may one day make getting around a bit easier for people in wheelchairs.

The team was made up of mechanical and electrical engineering students from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Zurich University of the Arts. Together, they developed what would come to be known as the Scalevo electric wheelchair.


All images via Scalevo.

The Scalevo is an electric wheelchair with one very notable, unique feature: Stairs no longer stand in its way.

The team's goal was to develop a "powered wheelchair which meets the demands of daily use and has the ability to climb and descend stairs safely without external help or additional devices."

Watching their video, I'd say mission accomplished.

The chair is able to climb stairs using rubber tracks between the two wheels.

You know, kind of like a tank or WALL-E.


To climb stairs, the user just rolls up with his or her back to the steps and lets the rubber tracks do their thing.

They see me rollin'...

There's also another set of wheels in the back that can lift users up.

But don't expect to see someone rolling past you in a Scalevo chair anytime soon — this is just a prototype.

The team's work was done over the course of just a few months and was intended to be a proof of concept more than anything else.

Part of the Scalevo team's goal is to have their product refined and ready for the Cybathlon Challenge for Robot-Assisted Parathletes (it's exactly what it sounds like) in October 2016.

Just think about how much more accessible the world could be for wheelchair-using individuals if something like this was put to market and made affordable.

That first car is a rite of passage into adulthood. Specifically, the hard-earned lesson of expectations versus reality. Though some of us are blessed with Teslas at 17, most teenagers receive a car that’s been … let’s say previously loved. And that’s probably a good thing, considering nearly half of first-year drivers end up in wrecks. Might as well get the dings on the lemon, right?

Of course, wrecks aside, buying a used car might end up costing more in the long run after needing repairs, breaking down and just a general slew of unexpected surprises. But hey, at least we can all look back and laugh.

My first car, for example, was a hand-me-down Toyota of some sort from my mother. I don’t recall the specific model, but I definitely remember getting into a fender bender within the first week of having it. She had forgotten to get the brakes fixed … isn’t that a fun story?

Jimmy Fallon recently asked his “Tonight Show” audience on Twitter to share their own worst car experiences. Some of them make my brake fiasco look like cakewalk (or cakedrive, in this case). Either way, these responses might make us all feel a little less alone. Or at the very least, give us a chuckle.

Here are 22 responses with the most horsepower:

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Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

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