Eythor Bender – TRANSCRIPT
We live in amazing times, where superhumans are among us and nowhere is that better to be seen than at the Paralympics. What was amazing of the last Paralympics Games, was that they were sold out in London. And through bionic technology, they are simply re-enabling the disabled. So much so that they are even accused of having an unfair advantage. So this is not fiction, it is here. But it hasn’t always been like that. There are only like 20, 30 years that people thought about prosthetic devices in this way.
Some used to be wooden sticks and that was really the image of this when I entered this industry. And now it has moved over to this Sarah Reinertsen, a good friend of mine, who completed the Iron Man in 2005 in a little over 16 hours. She’s amputated above the knee. Yes, truly amazing.
Even here locally, Lacey Henderson took the stage here with me two years ago. She’s a local and graduated from the University of Denver two years ago. And she is a Paralympian. This development started with inventors like Van Philips from Southern California and others from Iceland, Sweden, and beyond. They have created, for instance, this leg.
Van Phillips really created it for himself originally, he wanted a running leg, and it became this famous blade. We have taken this technology over to what we call sometimes bionics or active bionics. They are really devices that are powered or enabled with sensing technology and batteries and so on. It’s very exciting and is among us. It’s being used.
It’s fashion nowadays. It’s just cool to show off the prosthetic device. I’ve even heard people, kids saying, “I want something like that.” Again, it wasn’t always like this. Back in Vietnam, we were accused of not taking very good care of our soldiers.
That has completely flipped to the other side. Now, people like Scott here is flying back his F-16, although he is amputated above the knee and has a leg from Germany called C-Leg. We are continuing to pump money into research DoD, as well as DARPA, funded a major project, 100 million dollars to help people to get back their hands. So about five years ago, in 2008, we started turning our heads towards people. I’d like to refer to as the super enabled, but let us come back to that later.