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Archive for the ‘safety’ Category

New Harness for Cameras Created for Man’s Best Friend

Posted on: September 23rd, 2014 by Pulse

With the seemingly endless YouTube videos of people’s dogs being posted, pet owners are searching for new and inventive ways to film their beloved canines. Social media is becoming more and more about video with popular sites like Vine and Instagram recently rolling out a video feature. So now more than ever pet owners want to capture every moment with their adorable pooch for themselves and an audience to see. This has led to the innovative idea of strapping a camera onto the actual dog’s themselves, so that the point of view of the dog can be captured fully.

Introducing The GoPro Camera Harness

GoPro Camera

Previously, the idea of a dog being able to take its own videos might’ve seemed like a fanciful notion, but with the rapid progression of technology it’s already a reality. GoPro has come up with the innovative idea of utilizing a harness so that two cameras can be strapped to a dog, one on it’s shoulders, and one between its two front legs so that both shots can be taken. The harness is adjustable so that it can fit a wide variety of dogs like:

  • Bulldogs
  • Labradors
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Bassett Hounds

This way, owners of dogs of all sizes can use the GoPro camera to capture the dog’s best moments. Funny point of view shots can be taken, and the dog can capture angles and moments that would be virtually impossible for the owner to be able to take.

Meeting A Demand

While the development of the GoPro dog camera may be a relatively new development, in fact people have been creating their own DIY camera harnesses for their dogs for a long time. So GoPro recognized the demand for a custom harness, and they were able to create one that is not only comfortable for the dog, but that is very user friendly for the owner.

When the harness gets dirty it can just be thrown in the washing machine, and the harness makes sure the camera is secured to the dog no matter what crazy actions it tries. With this new product, this probably hails the beginning of a wide range of technology targeted towards animals.

Only The Beginning

Even though dogs are man’s best friends they are closely followed by the ubiquitous cat. Smaller and more rental friendly, cats may be almost as popular as dogs, considering how many cat videos are floating around the internet. And they are more uniform in size, which should make creating a harness for them more simple. While GoPro has yet to announce a cat harness, it shouldn’t be surprising if that is the next step towards making cat videos, where the cats are the ones controlling the action. People who love their pets will probably delight in the GoPro harness and will be able to fill up their social media feeds with even more videos of their pets.

And besides the videos, these cameras also allow dog owners an interesting glimpse into their pets’ lives. Whether strapping the cameras on a hiking trip, or on the daily walk, they’ll be able to literally see what their pets see, what they stop to sniff at, and how the world looks from a dog’s vantage point.

Already there are many YouTube videos featuring the GoPro harness. Some people are even taking the GoPro “day in the life” idea even farther, attaching the camera to an oven to see a day in the life of their oven. But beyond that, while it doesn’t seem to have been mentioned yet, the GoPro harness seems like it would have many useful possibilities regarding search and rescue dogs, who can be made even more effective with cameras attached to their bodies.

photo credit: Remko van Dokkum via photopin cc

Will Utah Outlaw Arch-Swinging?

Posted on: September 18th, 2014 by Pulse

arch swinging

Young people crave excitement and adventure and search for novel ways to experience it. And the feelings of an adrenaline rush are often intertwined with real imminent danger, because it lends an air of unpredictability that heightens the anticipation. Most of the time, the pursuit of excitement doesn’t lead to fatalities, but in a recent case a young man of twenty-two years old, Kyle Stocking, died while taking part in the latest trend dubbed “arch-swinging.” A very popular video on YouTube depicting arch-swinging has garnered nineteen million views, which undoubtedly has helped fuel the popularity of the pastime, and people seeking to try it themselves despite the undertaking being extremely dangerous.

What Is Arch-Swinging?

The YouTube video that features arch-swinging is filmed in Utah, on the Corona Arch, which is located in Moab and features an arch in the desert that is of breathtaking beauty. In fact, Utah can boast of having some of the most beautiful and grandiose natural sights in America with their deserts. However, in this case, people weren’t content to merely view the beauty of the Corona arch, but have undertaken swinging from the extremely tall arch with a DIY rope swing.

While the exhilaration and thrill of doing it has captured people’s imagination, the reality is that arch-swinging on the Corona Arch is extremely dangerous and shouldn’t be attempted by anyone, least of all young inexperienced people who don’t grasp the concept of how truly dangerous swinging from a manmade rope swing is. In the case of Kyle Stocking he overestimated how much rope he should use to build the swing and ended up hurtling straight to the ground, since the rope was too long. While medical help was called immediately, unfortunately Kyle Stocking had already passed and couldn’t be saved. The death of such a young person when it was completely avoidable has raised concerns about the Corona arch and how accessible it is.

Will Arch-Swinging Be Outlawed?

Kyle Stockton’s sad, preventable death and the prevalence of the pastime of arch- swinging has led to the state taking some action to try to prevent another fatality from happening again. The state of Utah has banned touring companies from charging people who want to swing on it, but that seems to be as far as they are able to go. Legally, people cannot be banned from swinging on the arch, just like they can’t be banned from climbing or jumping off a mountain. In essence, while the dangers of arch jumping should be strongly emphasized and warned about, ultimately people need to use their common sense and realize that their lives are worth more than a temporary, fleeting thrill. So while it doesn’t seem like arch swinging will be outlawed anytime soon, if ever, hopefully people will learn that the risks of arch swinging far outweigh any temporary thrills.

Safer Alternatives To Arch-Swinging

Young people, and thrill-seekers in general, should seek out safer alternatives to arch-swinging and there are many. While any type of activity has a chance of an accident, most likely if a mishap were to occur, someone wouldn’t hurtle to their death like in Kyle Stockton’s case. Other activities that people can do are:

  • Riding rollercoasters
  • Skydiving
  • Kayaking
  • Skiing
  • Skateboarding

All of the previously mentioned activities provide an adrenaline rush, and when practiced in a safe and supervised manner, are much safer than arch-swinging.  Young people can visit skate parks, ride rollercoasters with friends, kayak with a group of people, and also go skiing. They can take part in all of these activities as safer alternatives to arch-swinging. Kyle Stockton’s death shows how easily something can go wrong when attempting such a dangerous feat in a completely unregulated environment.

photo credit: Nels_P_Olsen via photopin cc

Snocross Racer Builds Bionic Knee

Posted on: September 16th, 2014 by Pulse

snocross racer

A rising star and a serious injury

Mike Schultz calls himself Monster Mike, and was one of the rising stars in snocross, a wintery variation on motocross racing that uses a snowmobile on snow and ice.  After earning the World Power Sport’s Association Most Improve Pro for the 2006-2007 year, he won first place in a major race in Iceland, and competed in 6 Winter X-Games between 2002 and 2008.

Mike’s story might have simply stopped there, with him continuing to excel in the snocross field, and fulfill his dream of being on the biggest racers in the world. However, in December 2008, while taking part in a race in Michigan, he was thrown off his sled, and suffered a very severe compound fracture of his left knee, requiring amputation of his leg, an injury most people would have considered tragic and career ending.

Finding a way to get back on the snowmobile

However, Mike’s love of his active lifestyle was too strong to let his injury force him to get rid of his dirt bikes and snowmobiles.  He explored existing lines of prosthetic limbs, and found that, while they might have been ok for people who just want to be able to walk and perform simple tasks, they wouldn’t survive the rigors of doing what he loved.  Using engineering knowledge gained from repairing trains in Minnesota, insurance money from his injury, and some help from his sponsor FOX racing, Mike developed the Moto Knee.

The Moto Knee is a simple to manufacture prosthetic knee with the range of motion and tension that makes it possible to engage in intense physical activity. The Moto Knee has a series of compressed air springs, working like a shock absorber to be very adaptive to different levels of resistance.  While traditional prosthetics can’t bend past 90 degress, the Moto Knee can bent 135 degrees, allowing for a much fuller range of motion.

This extended range is necessary when allowing him to pop back up after having to squat to support his weight on a high jump.  With a prototype Moto Knee, it only took 7 months for Mike to get back into racing, winning the silver medal in adaptive motocross at the 2009 X Games, and the gold as at Snowcross at the winter games.  A lot of people who had suffered an injury like Mike’s may have been told they would never be able to engage their passion for extreme sports ever again, but Mike’s ingenuity offered a hopeful way to be able to move freely again, and reimagine what is possible for disabled athletes.

Expanding the Moto Knee to others

It didn’t take too long for other people to become very interested in the exciting possibilities of the Moto Knee, and so in 2010, Mike Schultz launched Biodapt, a company that manufactures Moto Knees to anyone wishing to have a bionic knee that can come closer to withstanding the rigors of an active life.  One very exciting feature of the Moto Knee is its customizable features. It’s different parts can be adjusted to meet the unique needs and passions, allowing snowboarders, horseback riders, water-skiers, and people wanting to engage in many other types of physical activity to adjust.

Aside from extreme sports enthusiasts, another group that has found Mike’s Moto Knee very helpful have been veterans. Wayne Waldon, who lost his right leg in to a bomb blast in Iraq, was even inspired to get into snowboarding because the Moto Knee made it possible.  Mike Shultz, in addition to continuing to be a great racer, is now also an award winning inventor, and has sold over 100 prosthetics uniquely tailored to a active lifestyle.  That represents more then 100 people who have received an expanded sense of hope in what is possible for them.

photo credit: jaydrogers via photopin cc

A Look at the Origins of Scooters

Posted on: July 11th, 2014 by Pulse

how scooter evolve

The kick scooter originated more than 100 years ago, although it took almost a century for them to catch up to the popularity of similar personal transportation methods, such as the bicycle or skateboard. The earliest patents for scooters were submitted in 1921, but serious manufacturing of scooters did not begin until the late 1990s.

The Early Days of Scooters

The earliest kick scooters were typically hand-made by those living in industrial urban areas looking for another way to get around. Some versions of the early homemade scooters included using a roller skate wheel set on a board with a handle or an old box. Some people created their scooter out of two boards connected by a crude pivot to help turn the scooter. These scooters tended to be made of all wood, with three to four inch wheels with steel ball bearings. Another typical homemade kick scooter was made using a steel clamp roller skate attached to a wood beam.

Scooters begin to Improve

The lighter and more durable metal scooters with two small bicycle wheels attached became a popular mode of transpiration for children before bicycles caught on, but soon were overtaken in popularity by bicycles. These early scooters typically made with roller skates were four-wheeled, similar to skateboards. Although other wheel options have since been manufactured, there are still lines of four-wheeled scooters produced today. In 2000, the four-wheeled Wetzer Stickboard was produced by a Swiss company, which had a narrow skateboard attached to a foldable pole. In 2006, Nextsport produced four-wheeled scooters called the Fuzion. These four-wheeled models tended to be larger and heavier than the Razor and similar scooters, and some also added features to facilitate stunts and freestyling.

The Folding Scooter

The folding scooter debuted in 1996, and changed the scooter world. It was made from aluminum and featured inline skate wheels, providing a faster, easier and lighter scooter. The first version was made by Wim Ouboter from the Micro Mobility Systems in Switzerland known as the Micro Skate Scooter. Soon after, the Razor debuted, and in 1999, it caught on in Japan as a way to commute and quickly became popular around the world. Larger folding kick scooters have also been manufactured for adult commuters. These typically have more durable parts and feature a wider deck, larger wheels, and a hand brake.

Freestyle Scootering

With the invention of the lightweight folding scooter, the new sport of freestyle scootering began. Soon after, new versions of stunt scooters debuted, which include non-folding professional scooters that are stronger and made for doing stunts and using in half pipes.

BMX Scoot Debuts

BMX began manufacturing scooters in 1987, which they called Scoot. Although the manufacturing did not last long under BMX, other companies saw the draw, and began producing scooters. These scooters are often faster than a folding scooter and offer users more convenience than a utility bicycle in urban areas. Mountain Scooters also have been produced, which are made for off-road usage.

photo credit: Sheldon Hay

5 Safety Tips For Scooter Riders

Posted on: May 25th, 2014 by Pulse

spike-goat-freestyle-scooter

Scooter riding can be a fun and exciting form of physical activity that has many benefits. Riding scooters is  a great way to explore the outdoors and is a wonderful way to make physical activity fun. It is also an activity that can be enjoyed by riders of all ages. It is important, however, that all scooter riders consider safety first at all times. Here are five important tips for scooter safety.

  1. Always Wear A Helmet and Other Safety Gear Helmets are an indispensable component of good scooter safety. Wearing a helmet puts riders at a much lower risk for head injuries, which can be quite severe and may lead to permanent or long term damage. It is also a good idea for children and adults with vulnerable joints to wear protective gear on their wrists, elbows, and knees. This helps greatly reduce the instance of injuries. There are a number of helmets that are even designed to be attractive and interesting for young children and teens alike.
  2. Be Aware of Traffic and Traffic Laws Scooter riding, like riding a bicycle, means being aware of riding laws that dictate where and when scooters can be ridden. Young riders should not ride in areas where there is automobile traffic, unless they are being supervised by an adult who feels comfortable keeping an eye on them and making sure that they are out of the way of automobiles the whole time. Riders of all ages should make a habit of staying fully aware of their surroundings: frequently checking both sides of them and behind them. In areas where scooters share a sidewalk with pedestrians, care should be given to make sure that riders slow down when they are near individuals who are walking.
  3. Avoid Riding In Areas That Are Not Well Lit Riding at night or during hours of the day when auto drivers are subject to high levels of glare from the sun may be quite dangerous. Scooters should always be ridden during times of day when the rider and their scooter are highly dangerous. Even if it is light out, if it is close to sunset, drivers may be experiencing less visibility and may thus be more likely to not see a person riding a scooter. If children want to ride at night, they should always be accompanied by an adult, and both adults and children should have reflective gear on both their person and their scooter to make themselves more visible to drivers.
  4. Look For Paths That Are Designated For Bikes or Scooters Many cities and recreational areas have paths set aside that are specifically designed to be used by those who wish to ride scooters or bikes. These paths are ideal because they allow riders a place to ride freely without riding among pedestrians or cars. In many cases, these paths run along automotive roads, so it is still important to remain aware of auto traffic while in a riding lane.
  5. Avoid Steep Hills or Terrain That is Beyond Your Skill Level When riding, it is important that speeds never get so high that a rider cannot stop comfortably and easily. Riders should never attempt to ride down hills that are so steep that they are not in control of the scooter or their ability to stop it. It is best for beginning riders to slowly test their abilities on different terrains and to make sure that they can stop quickly if need be. Riders should also always bear in mind that they should step off their scooter if they feel that they can no longer control it.

Invisible Bike Helmet Created By Two Swedes

Posted on: May 3rd, 2014 by Pulse

invisible-bike-helmet

Two inventors in Sweden have made quite a splash in both the world of biking and entrepreneurship by developing a product that many people believed was nearly impossible: an invisible bike helmet. Recently, inventors Anna Haupt and Terese Alsti impressed and surprised many when they unveiled their invention, which is called the Hovding Helmet. The inventing duo have spoken out about what inspired them to develop their ground breaking product and why they believe the Hovding Helmet is so important to the future of traveling, commuting and style.

How the Invisible Helmet Came About

Both Anna Haupt and Terese Alsti consider themselves avid bikers and believe that cycling is the mode of transportation of the future, and that cars are a thing of the past. As avid bikers, they often found the sensation of wearing a helmet somewhat cumbersome, comparing it to having a mushroom on their head. They did not like the fact that wearing a helmet prevented them from feeling the wind in their hair while they rode, but they also recognized the importance of wearing a helmet when riding a bike, especially in urban areas where cyclists often share the road with motor vehicles.

The duo spent seven years consulting with experts in a number of fields. They spoke with head trauma specialists, who helped them to understand the physics behind head injuries. They also used models to simulate some of the most common accidents and studied what exactly happens when a cyclist is involved in a high impact accident. After speaking with experts and reviewing their data, the two came up with a design for a helmet that is as stylish as it is safe: a helmet that provides full protection of the head while simultaneously allowing for the rider to enjoy the open air.

How It Works

The Hovding Helmet allows riders to experience the feeling of riding without helmet because it is  worn as a scarf of sorts that is strapped around a rider’s neck. The scarf is activated when it is snapped together. It remains in its scarf shape until the event that a rider is involved in an accident of some kind. At that point, the helmet, which is in effect constructed out of what are essentially airbags that surround the head, deploys and covers and protects the rider’s head instantly.

Alsti and Haupt have tested the helmet in a number of varying accident scenarios and have found it to be an effective means of warding off injury in the event that a serious accident should arise.

Is It Available In the United States?

The Hovding Helmet is not currently available in United States stores, but it can be purchased online at the company’s website. Currently, the price point of the helmet is significantly higher than that of regular helmets: an invisible helmet costs and average of two hundred ninety nine euros, or roughly five hundred dollars, in comparison to traditional helmets, which can be purchased for somewhere between forty and eighty dollars. Some critics site the high price point of the invisible air bag helmets as being a reason that they are not a practical option for widespread use.

Others question the safety of the airbag helmets versus traditional helmets, though both the inventors and a number of physicists argue that the mechanics behind them are sound. The airbag helmets certainly do offer a number of benefits both in terms of aesthetics and the overall experience of riding, and perhaps as they grow in popularity in Europe, they will become more widely available and more affordable in the United States and other counties.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons