Monday, June 18, 2012

A Sip of Coffee - All in Her Mind

I had to write about this! Check out the video:

Video of a woman using her brain to control a robotic arm. Her first act? Sip a cup of coffee. To view with closed captioning, please open video in Youtube.

How wonderful is this? This is a woman who has not been able to use her arms and legs for over 15 years, and here she is having a latte! Well, I'd like to think it was a latte! Whatever is in that cup, she is able to control what she puts in her mouth!

Technology is there. It has the ability to connect our internal neural network to external, mechanical, robotic devices. We have the ability to meet a basic desire of feeding oneself when one wants to eat. What!?! Is this Star Trek and Star Wars all rolled into one?

Well, not yet. The one thing that keeps t his from making a difference in the everyday life of a person with mobility disabilities is...wait for

When advancements in technology happen, people with disabilities still have to receive it through subsidies and charity. Right now, I am saving for a Pebble-Mini that I could take with me to restaurants in order to enjoy the experience of choosing menu items without assistance or large print lists. I am saving because something that probably should be no more expensive than a digital camera costs more like two of them.

Pebble Mini, a simple magnifier from Enhanced Vision [Description: The Pebble Mini, a portable digital magnifer held next to a can showing magnification of nutritional information]
 The cost of accessibility technology coupled with the small market of buyers makes it impractical for companies to see a reason to invest. Even as I look at the satisfaction on this lady's face, I realize many more years of research is needed to make this practical and economical.

And, yet, this moment is stupendous! Here this woman sits, sipping from a cup held to her mouth from a machine that she controls. This to me short of making her own limbs work again is the ultimate in foodie access.

What are you thoughts? Have you had easy access to technology or devices that would enable you to enjoy eating out, cooking at home or access to food products? Tell me about you experiences. If I get enough responses, I may do another post on the items you suggest.

No comments:

Post a Comment