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Interview with World Cup exoskeleton designer

Scientific American did a nice, little interview with Miguel Nicolelis, the main engineer behind the exoskeleton which will debut at the upcoming World Cup.

Nicolelis touches on how their EEG-based system works, although he shies away from revealing any details on what's planned at the debut.


This one question/answer struck me:

Is there any particular obstacle you are concerned about for that day like cell phones in the audience or anything like that?
My obstacle right now is just journalists. There are too many pessimists who cannot see the big picture of what this means for science in a developing country and who only look at scientists as a bunch of people that create bombs and things to kill people. We need to portray science as a good endeavor that can improve mankind. That's what we are trying to do.

Makes me wonder what kind of negative spin journalists on putting on this story? I did come across this Wired article, which include some criticisms that this technology isn't that novel, and that is a waste of money which could be put towards local infrastructure. (Side note: I find the latter argument ridiculous. Why do any research/innovation at all then while social issues still exist? And this technology, while expensive now, can still have immediate real-life impacts).


Either way, hopefully the demo goes well, and it gives science research/engineering a nice bit of PR.

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