How do you make a superhuman? Well, you can’t really, some people are just born that way, but it helps if you’ve got a bit of decent, high tech kit to help you along the way.
Not one, not two, not even three, but four Paralympian athletes smashed the 1500m running time in Rio this year, with gold medalist Abdellatif Baka beating able bodied Olympian Matthew Centrowitz’s time by 1.7 seconds. Centrowitz got gold in the Olympic 1500m and a visually impaired man who was faster than him didn’t even place!
My point being, that we’ve got Paralympic athletes performing incredible feats – now just imagine how much more incredible they could be with the latest technology to help them. Well, imagine no more! Let’s have a look at what’s powering our superhumans through the Rio Paralympics this year.
Let’s start with blades, they look cool, but to the untrained eye they might not seem that high tech until you realize the Ottobock (the official Paralympic prosthetics maker), are customizing some that will be made out of 80 layers of carbon fibre that are thinner than human hair. They’ll also be the only prosthetics designed to help above the knee amputees to run smoothly and will have specially designed sport knees attached! Amazing! Imagine having a knee just for sports?
Swimming is another area where you might not expect there to be much technical advancement, but you’d be mistaken. Previously visually impaired swimmers used to have to rely on someone to tap them with a rod to let them know where they were in their laps, which is quite clunky. Not anymore! Samsung has been developing a Blind Cap, which allows coaches to send vibration alerts to athletes wearing them and help things go more, well, swimmingly. Ahem.
3D printing fans may be less surprised to discover that it’s played quite a large roll in this years games, making everything from aerodynamic limbs, wheelchairs optimized for racing and adding accessories like limb shields to racing bikes. It’s a great use of new technology being used to help improve quality of life and not just another novel way to make pizza.
This is all just a small snippet of the amazing technology we’re seeing which is helping our superhumans be even more super! If this is an area your making waves in, we’d love to hear from you. Please give us a call on 01233 221537