Saturday, August 16, 2014

New Project: Prototype Helmet that Actually Prevents Concussions

Football helmets are practically useless when it comes to the only thing we really want them to do:  protect our brains.  This may sound like a bold claim, but it is backed by a number of studies, including this one where old-timey leather-head helmets actually outperformed modern football helmets.  Riddell, the official helmet manufacturer for the NFL, recently lost a lawsuit for making the unfounded claim that their "Revolution" helmet (allegedly) reduced concussions by 31%, and Schutt Sports, the other major brand, forces you to click on a disclaimer that states no helmet can reduce the likelihood of concussions before you can even look at any of the content on their website.

There is a lot of speculation about whether this issue will lead to the slow demise of the sport as more and more former NFL players are diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and concussion litigation does more and more damage to the bottom line and youth participation in the sport.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How to fight someone wearing a powered exoskeleton

Powered human exoskeletons have been in the dreams of science fiction enthusiasts for decades, but in the last few years, they have started to become a reality.  The united states military is currently working on a prototype of the TALOS Suit,  dockworkers are already using them in South Korea, and a powered exoskeleton even helped a paraplegic kick off the 2014 world cup.

With all of these amazing steps forward in technology, pushing the limits of human capabilities, the question arises "what would you do if you ended up in a fistfight against someone wearing a powered exoskeleton?"

Of course, I've never fought an opponent in an exoskeleton before (I'm pretty sure nobody has), but drawing from what I know about robotics, physics, and martial arts, here are a few of my my best guesses at how to win that fight.