How would you reinvent something that’s been used for thousands of years, by millions of people? In this episode, we discover the process of invention with Rory Cooper, an engineer who revolutionized the wheelchair. He’s our guide to time traveling back to the kings and queens who used wheelchairs, and to the future of rideable robots. Anyone want a ride on a Mars rover?!
Lindsay interviews Rory Cooper at the AAAS conference. Photo credit: Erin Hare, University of Pittsburg.
Want to learn more about how Rory got into wheelchair invention from being an athlete? This is a great short documentary about his journey.
This article accompanies the video above.
In the photo above, Rory tests out the MEBot, a wheelchair that's powered by air and can climb stairs. Here's a video explaining how it works and how it came to be!
Find out how Rory's research enabled the world's first "accessible" theme park - a waterpark that can be visited by EVERYBODY!
As an active athlete himself, Rory has focused a ton of energy on wheelchairs for athletes. Here's his rundown of all the technology he's invented for athletes, and the future he envisions. (Bonus: This video is accompanied by an educational article.)
Want to see the wheelchairs we discussed in the episode (and more)? Check out these articles with illustrations and photos:
History of the Wheelchair
Wikipedia Wheelchair History
Science Museum Blog's History of the Wheelchair