Ready for a new sport? Human-piloted racing robots!

Who wouldn’t want to slip into Iron Man’s armor or try out the gigantic Jaegers that saved the world in the movie Pacific Rim? Wearable exoskeletons currently being built, from the military-based TALOS, XOS 2 and HULC to rehabilitative models like the ReWalk, MindWalker and X1, all have one thing in common; they are all robotic automated body suits designed to enhance or assist people.

Is there a place for a skill-oriented, non-robotic walking exoskeleton, that a person would have to master physically by feel, much like how one might master riding a bicycle or using a skateboard? Jonathan Tippet thinks so. He and his team of volunteers are building Prosthesis, claimed to be the world’s first human-piloted racing robot. It’s a 5-meter tall behemoth that will rely entirely on the pilot’s skill to balance itself or walk or run…

“I can’t believe a human-piloted giant mech racing league has not happened yet,” Tippett, a Vancouver-based artist and part-time biomedical engineer at Evasc Medical Systems, tells Gizmag. “We’ve raced every other type of moving technology we’ve ever made … where are the racing robots?”.

Mr. Tippett describes his critter as a cross between a gorilla, a T-rex and an excavator. Could make for some truly destructive sports events. Sounds like something every American football/NASCAR fan would adore.

3 of the Marlboro cowboys have now died of chronic lung disease


Dead of COPD

Eric Lawson, who portrayed the rugged Marlboro man in cigarette ads during the late 1970s, has died. He was 72.

Lawson died on 10 January at his home in San Luis Obispo of respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, his wife, Susan Lawson, said on Sunday…

A smoker since age 14, Lawson later appeared in an anti-smoking commercial that parodied the Marlboro man and an Entertainment Tonight segment to discuss the negative effects of smoking. Ms Lawson said her husband was proud of the interview, even though he was smoking at the time and continued the habit until he was diagnosed with COPD.

“He knew the cigarettes had a hold on him,” she said. “He knew, yet he still couldn’t stop.”

Three of the actors appearing in adverts for Marlboro cigarettes have died of smoking-related diseases. They include David Millar, who died of emphysema in 1987, and David McLean, who died of lung cancer in 1995.

The ongoing question about ignorant vs stupid is pretty easy for this one. The American people have been made thoroughly aware of the dangers of smoking for decades. Everyone knows someone who died or is dying from lung cancer, COPD, some illness encouraged by smoking. Yet, many continue. Young people are encouraged to start.

Tobacco farmers are still getting subsidies from Congress.