Published: December 1st 2011December 1st 2011
Reinnervated Arm Prosthetic
Surgery to integrate nerve endings from upper limb into specific regions of the chest allows control of this prosthetic. The demo video was jaw-dropping.
Photo Credit: Cobus Breytenbach
1 WHOLE MONTH BETWEEN POSTS? UNACCEPTABLE!
My studies have picked up quite a bit lately and I've really been slacking with my entries. I'm sure you've all been tearful in the absence of my stories. This past week I was away from Leuven to attend a conference near Berlin, Germany. Buckle up, here comes a play-by-play of our week SUNDAY
We left on Sunday afternoon and drove 7 hours to Duderstadt, Germany. When we arrived, we got to meet two 2nd year EMMAPA students, Michael and Jenny, who were also attending the weeks activities. Super great folks! We were also greeted by a couple big-whig organizers from the conference we were to attend Tuesday-Friday. Cue the epic Italian meal at a restaurant, Ratskeller, and a German beer (or two). We then checked into the village-like hostel in town and hit the racks hard! MONDAY
We woke up early and headed down the street to the Otto Bock Headquarters in Duderstadt. They are a globally known company for prosthetic R&D. They even have a facility in Tempe Arizona! Fun fact for the day.
We were treated like royalty the entire morning. A warm greeting and historical introduction,
These realistic models gave me the heeby-jeebies. Really awesome though!
Photo Credit: Cobus Breytenabch
full showroom tour and biomechanics lesson by their head engineer, coffee break in an employee lounge that fell out of the Ritz Carlton, and two lectures on Mind Controlled Prosthetics and Technology for Personalization of Prosthetics. I was sure by the end of our visit that I was going to work for them. Although my biomechanics background is weak, I thought it was my calling. I even joked with the staff that I would give tours and be a spokesperson if I had to. It was a magical experience.
4 hours on a bus to Berlin later we got another hour to explore the hands-on lab at their downtown facility. We used simulators to mimic prosthetic movement, navigate urban terrain in a wheelchair, and even picture ourselves with an above-knee amputation in a mirror. Needless to say, it was very great day. http://www.ottobock.com/cps/rde/xchg/ob_com_en/hs.xsl/220.html?id=233
We drove from Berlin to Rheinsberg and checked into our hotel (which I didn't exit...even for a minute...until Friday afternoon) The International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (http://www.icsspe.org/
) had organized a great dinner and introduction to the conference and we began meeting the other participants from all over the world. TUESDAY-FRIDAY
What if it were me?
This demo at the Berlin Otto Bock site allowed us to see what we'd look like with a prosthetic leg. Humbling images for sure.
Photo Credit: Cobus Breytenbach
We were able to interact with 30 Social Work students from Kennesaw State University in Georgia, USA throughout the week. I had been away from mass amounts of Americans so long that I forgot how loud
we are. It was nice to have them there hovering over their iPads in their free time. Felt like home. ;) Out presenters were from universities and organizations in the US, Scotland, England, The Netherlands, Switzerland, France, and more.
The confrence was called Communities in Crisis and all the seminars provided theoretical and practical training on the application of sport and physical activity for trauma relief. We also discussed the promotion of community building in crisis and social problem areas. Psychosocial aspects were overlapped with sport and activity programs to address posttraumatic scenarios on a global level.
Talk about intense! I was crying all week! We completed group teaching projects, discussion sessions, lectures, and activity sessions. It was a packed week, but I feel so fortunate to have been surrounded by individuals with such diverse perspectives and experiences. It was truly incredible. If I caught myself daydreaming about working for the Red Cross/Red Crescent relief efforts and coordinating these types of programs
Ankle Joint Demo
I was able to feel the effect of various adjustments that are available for the ankle joint in prosthetics.
Photo Credit: Michael Lockyer
in communities afflicted with disaster. Dreaming big in Deutschland.
There are more photos below