Within the lectures, we begin to discuss how one should successfully and clearly pitch a product. Eythor Bender’s TEDtalk demonstrates the human use of an exoskeleton for both militarily and disabled user, pitching the idea as breakthrough technology with potential use even for the everyday consumer. Although presented 3 years ago, the talk clearly illustrates the practical use of the exoskeleton and the potential it had then and continues to have now. Bender is the CEO of Berkley Bionics, who are the producers of the HULC (Human Universal Load Carrier). The HULC acts as a “wearable robot” enabling the user to have superhuman abilities, or permit disabled users to walk again. Benders innovations with bionic and orthopedic technologies has permitted him to produce FDA approved, sustainable inventions that act as the “the true integration of the man and the machine”.
With our tutorial today, we discussed how one should study closely the clients and users, determining what skills they value. Within this particular TEDtalk, two user examples illustrate clearly how the product is used. Bender describes the potential the technology has for the American soldier, regularly asked to carry 100 pounds worth of equipment on their back. As they are carrying these great weights, and being asked to carry more, 30% of American soldiers suffer from chronic back injuries. The exoskeleton they have designed permits the user to carry up to 200 pounds over varied terrains.
The second user example that Bender presents is Amanda Boxil who is wearing the Elex exoskeleton. Amanda suffered from a spinal cord injury in a somersault accident while skiing at 24 and for 19 years has been in a wheelchair said to never walk again. This is the case for the 68 million wheelchair users worldwide, this being 1% of the total population. Within the presentation, Amanda is able to walk out on stage and illustrate the way in which she is now able to move freely with the machine.
TEDtalks. 2011. Eythor Bender demos human exoskeletons. Website. Available at: http://www.ted.com/talks/eythor_bender_demos_human_exoskeletons.html. (Accessed 03 July 13).
TEDtalks. 2011. Speakers Eythor Bender: Berkeley Bionics’ CEO. Website. Available at: http://www.ted.com/speakers/eythor_bender.html. (Accessed 03 July 13).