Futuristic “wearable chair” exoskeleton allows you to sit while standing

If you work a job where you’re standing all day, you’ll know how much strain you can put on your feet, hips, and joints. Depending on the line of work, you may have the opportunity to sit down and give your legs a break throughout the day, but if you’re, say, a medical surgeon, you don’t always get that option.

But what if you had a chair with you at all times? What if you could sit without actually sitting? It sounds absurd, but the archelis “wearable chair” allows for just that.

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Planned and produced by Japanese company Nitto under the supervision of Chiba University’s Frontier Medical Engineering Center, archelis simply straps onto your legs, allowing the “chair” to move along with you. By bending your knees and putting your weight on the upper sections of the unit, archelis supports your body in the same way as if you were sitting, taking the strain off your tired legs and feet.

▼ Pictured: not Portal 2‘s long-fall boots

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The device is ergonomically designed using a combination of tough metal and carbon to be both durable yet is light enough to allow for comfort and ease of movement. For surgeons who need to stay standing and focused for hours on end, this could be the welcomed relief they need.

Archelis is still in development and does not yet have a set price or release date, but any updates on production will be announced on the website. While the unit was designed with medical staff in mind, we can definitely see this being used in a number of different applications, such as allowing people who have difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time a little respite.

Air Bonsai: Levitating magnetic bonsai trees by Hoshinchu

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Despite the visual beauty and life-giving nature of plants, there’s always been one main problem with our vegetative friends: plants can’t fly. A small company called Hoshinchu based out of Kyushu, Japan, recently set out to fix the problem that evolution forgot by inventing the Air Bonsai, a system for magnetically levitating small bonsai trees several inches above a small electrified pedestal. The system allows you to create your own miniature Avatar-like worlds with tiny trees or shrubs planted in balls of moss, but is also powerful enough to suspend special ceramic dishes of fragments of lava rock.

Air Bonsai is currently funding like crazy on Kickstarter and is availble in a number of configurations starting with a base DIY kit for $200 that requires you to use your own plants up to more elaborate designs that may only ship in Japan.

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Panda Talk: Chinese scientists discover how pandas flirt with each other

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Next Shark:

Chinese scientists say they have decoded 13 different giant panda vocalizations.

Researchers at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in the southwestern Sichuan Province made their findings during a five-year study that involved spectrum analysis done on recordings of the endangered species, according to the Xinhua news agency.

Among their findings were that adult male pandas baa when they are trying to woo females into mating and that adult female pandas chirp when they are interested.

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Trust me. Our researchers were so confused when we began the project that they wondered if they were studying a panda, a bird, a dog, or a sheep,” said Zhang Hemin, head of the center.

The sounds made by panda cubs were also deciphered: “gee-gee” means hunger, “coo-coo” expresses satisfaction, and “wow-wow” means displeasure.

According to the researchers, pandas are solitary and thus learn much of their language from their mothers.

If a panda mother keeps tweeting like a bird, she may be anxious about her babies. She barks loudly when a stranger comes near,” Zhang said.

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Researchers at the center, which has the world’s largest panda artificial breeding program, also hope to develop a “panda translator” that uses voice-recognition technology.

If we can understand their language, it will help us protect the animal, especially in the wild,” the researcher said.

There are currently less than 2,000 giant pandas living in the wild today, all of them in China. More than 300 are in captivity, with a majority of those kept at the center.