We recently caught up with Scott Summit, the industrial designer behind San-Francisco-based Bespoke Innovations, at AU 2010, where he was one of the keynote speakers. Bespoke Innovations has a clear mission: Apply good industrial design and rapid prototyping techniques to make kick-ass prosthetics. They don't do off-the-shelf parts--they interview amputees, find out what makes them tick, and design some seriously cool custom limbs based on their interests and tastes.
Some amputees like Mid-Century Modern. Some like motorcycles. Some like leather or tattoos. Summit seems like the first industrial designer to realize that with today's manufacturing technologies, there's no reason an amputee should have to wear a cold and impersonal prosthetic designed by some engineer who's ordering parts out of a catalog and has never been to design school.
With about a million diabetic amputees in the U.S. alone, Summit and Bespoke have a huge market to address. And as they serve them, they're raising some very good issues about the product space that mass production should, and should not, occupy in the future. The production world is changing, and as you'll see in the interview below, Summit isn't just riding the wave--he's helping to create it.
It's called CHIMP, which is evolutionarily backwards since this thing will replace us
Most of you look to me as a leading authority on robots, whether for my fair and balanced coverage of human-robot relations, my obvious grasp of their technological underpinnings or the fact that I have seen the Terminator movies many, many times. But even I sometimes make errors. For instance,
Kaiten or rotating/conveyor belt sushi restaurants were invented in Japan in the 1950s. More recently, a Japanese entrepreneur has put the concept on steroids, rolling out a chain of highly automated—and profitable—restaurants that go way beyond a mere conveyor belt. At branches of the Muten Kurazushi Sushi Restaurant, which has
GoPro's variety of harnesses let you mount their cameras to your head, chest or even your dog. But a new company has developed a flying camera that you needn't wear at all. You simply throw the Lily, as it's called, into the air, where it takes flight and follows you
Designer Marjan van Aubel finds novel applications for dye-sensitized solar cells.
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