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exoskeleton for wheelchair users

Living in the future has some amazing perks.

A French tech company is rolling out a new device that allows wheelchair-bound people to walk again. It looks like something straight out of a science fiction movie, but the phenomenal benefit it provides is very, very real.

The company, Wandercraft, calls it the Atalante X. It acts like an exoskeleton, fitting around both legs and the back of the spine. Twelve motors make up the robot appendages (six at the hips, two at the knees, and four at the ankles), which helps make more natural movement.

Each motor receives a signal every millisecond from both a user-controlled remote and a sensor that detects upper body movement. This cutting-edge technology allows, for the first time ever, the freedom of hands-free motion.

Wandercraft : Self-balanced exoskeleton latest advancementswww.youtube.com

Alexandre Boulanger, one of Wandercraft’s creators, regarded exoskeletons as “the revolution of the future for people with reduced mobility. They help users to regain a social life through as simple an act as being able to stand up and talk with others face-to-face.”

So far, users seem to agree.


In an interview with Euro News, one of Wandercraft's test pilots, Kevin Piette, noted, “the first time you stand up is pretty impressive because you can do it very easily, very quietly, comfortably. And then you have this upright posture that you had actually forgotten about.”

One of Piette’s favorite rediscovered activities is cooking. “To be able to cook and reach things up high, things that are part of a really banal day of life was rewarding. It’s also really nice to be able to be at the same level as people instead of always looking up at them from below,” he told Euro News.

Wandercraft first launched in 2012, starting out with only three engineers. The company now has 50 mathematicians, robotics engineers and biomechanical experts. And so far $45 million has been raised to further develop a lighter, cheaper, more versatile model.

One of those co-founders, Jean-Louis Constanza, whose son is a wheelchair user, credits their success to having “a project that really changes society.”

According to the Wheelchair Foundation, an estimated 10 million people require wheelchairs. And that’s not taking developing countries into consideration, where less than 10% of those who need them actually have access to one. According to the website, that means that every hour of every day, there is need for 145 more wheelchairs in the world. There is certainly a demand for mobility devices.

Lots of breakthroughs have been made to make everyday life a bit more accessible for those who are disabled, like wheelchair-equipped smart cars. But the Atalante X is something truly innovative and one-of-a-kind. Its next steps (pun intended) are being able to be used outside. Wandercraft engineer Jean-Louis Kana noted that the device will have to adhere to the same regulations as an autonomous car, and be required to develop algorithms to ensure stability and reliability. Particularly if there’s an accident.

However, if the success of Wandercraft continues, the lives of millions will become truly limitless. It’s one small step for robotics, and one giant leap for inclusion.

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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via Pexels

Three people engaged in conversation at a party.

There are some people who live under the illusion that everything they say is deeply interesting and have no problem wasting your time by rambling on and on without a sign of stopping. They’re the relative, neighbor or co-worker who can’t take a hint that the conversation is over.

Of all these people, the co-worker who can’t stop talking may be the most challenging because you see them every day in a professional setting that requires politeness.

There are many reasons that some people talk excessively. Therapist F. Diane Barth writes in Psychology Today that some people talk excessively because they don’t have the ability to process complex auditory signals, so they ramble on without recognizing the subtle cues others are sending.

It may also be a case of someone who thinks they’re the most interesting person in the conversation.

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