Well, I am tremendously excited — even more so than usual — because I just heard some “O frabjous day!” news.
Note: If you attend ESC Boston 2015, you can see renowned American entrepreneur and inventor Dean Kamen talk about the Luke Arm and other Developments at DEKA Research — Register Today!
I don’t know if you are aware of this, but the forthcoming ESC Boston, which is to be held May 6-7, 2015, is going to be co-located in time and space (i.e., in different wings of the Boston Convention and exhibition Center) with five other events:
- Electronics New England
- Design & Manufacturing New England
- BIOMEDevice New England
- Quality Expo Showcase
- PLASTEC New England
One great thing about this is that your pass to ESC Boston — both Conference & Demo Hall Only — will gain you entrance to the Expo Floors for all of the other events.
And one great thing about this is that the renowned American entrepreneur and inventor Dean Kamen — creator of the Segway Personal Transporter (PT) and Founder of DEKA Research & Development Corporation — is going to be giving a keynote presentation at the CenterStage on the Expo Floor of the BIOMEDevice event.
You really should visit the DEKA Website. The folks at DEKA are performing incredible work in all sorts of areas, including Stirling Engines that can convert almost any fuel into electrical power and Water Purification.
One of DEKA's R&D projects that is of particular interest to me is their iBOT, which truly is a wheelchair for the 21st Century. As it says on the DEKA website: “The iBOT’s self-balancing technology allows the user to go up and down staircases, navigate difficult terrain and 'stand' at eye level with the ambulatory people around them.”
This reason this strikes a chord with me is that I had a good friend called Steve who was brought low by ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). He spent the last years of his life confined to a wheelchair. Every couple of weeks, I would drive over to Steve's house and borrow his family's wheelchair accessible van, and Steve and I would go to the cinema to watch whatever science fiction film was showing at the time. Steve was an engineer, and he would have loved to have had command of a wheelchair like the iBOT.
Another of DEKA's projects that also hits close to home is The DEKA Arm. Also known as the “Luke Arm” (named in honor of Luke Skywalker from Star Wars ), this robotic arm is a DARPA-funded project intended to restore functionality for individuals with upper extremity amputations.
As you may recall from my recent column, Thoughts on being a one-armed embedded engineer, I've recently been pondering the difficulties that would ensue should I have to wave a fond farewell to one of my arms (hey, if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?).
As I responded to Aubrey Kagan (a.k.a. Antedeluvian) in the comments to this article, although the MRI didn’t show anything untoward in my left elbow itself, it remains permanently bruised, and they keep on calling me back to take more blood. Now they've scheduled me for an ultrasound of my spleen in a couple of weeks. I'm not sure exactly where the spleen is or what it does, but I'm surprised it's so intimately connected to my left elbow. As a said to Aubrey: “We can only hope that the spleen associated with my right elbow keeps on doing its job.”
But we digress… Returning to the point at hand, I am tremendously impressed with all that Dean Kamen has accomplished, and I'm really looking forward to attending his CenterStage presentation The Luke Arm and Other Developments at DEKA Research. Perhaps I'll see you there (I'll be the one in the super-cool Hawaiian shirt).
Join over 2,000 technical professionals and embedded systems hardware, software, and firmware developers at ESC Boston May 6-7, 2015, and learn about the latest techniques and tips for reducing time, cost, and complexity in the development process.
Passes for the ESC Boston 2015 Technical Conference are available at the conference's official site, with discounted advance pricing until May 1, 2015. Make sure to follow updates about ESC Boston's talks, programs, and announcements via the Destination ESC blog on Embedded.com and social media accounts Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.
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