Hot Tub Transfer

The climbing project certainly wasn’t good for my health long term. All worth it, I’d make the same choices again. I knew it was going to hurt doing countless chin ups in essentially handcuffs. Our group made many wrist splints and tried many techniques for me to pull on the rope: all of them put all the pressure on my wrists and thumbs. Nerve pain and all kinds tissue...

Ubuntu Wireless

Configuring Wireless on Headless Devices There is nothing cool about a robot that needs wires plugged in. Actually it used to torture me to madness because these robots are packed pretty full of wires and it’s not easy to get at the USB and HDMI ports. So, this makes running ubuntu in an embedded device a real pain when first setting up. Many robots are running linux on low...

Renovations

Renovations for Disability After many months of power tools, dust, painting.. I finally have the wheelchair accessible desk I’ve always wanted. Mostly the changes were designed around smoother rolling for me but also we made a lot of decorative choices also. Lots of wood and hidden structural steel. I used to constantly bang my wheelchair into table legs. Actually this even cause a few burns, spilling hot drinks. I...

Belgian Documentary

Belgian Documentary on Cheating in Sport a crew from Belgium found the me via the “boosting” news stories and planned a trip to come climbing in squamish. they chanced the weather for mid October but we got lucky, very lucky. that’s what I remember most about any of our big climbs, constantly checking the forecast leading up to the event. It was looking like rain, so we had the...

yun REST lighting

Using REST with Arduino Yun Progress on the rgb leds continues, here is the code for a useful android testing tool, with a very brutal looking UI.. awful. sliders for the red, green, blue light levels, few buttons for presets and scrolling debug messaging. the only noteworthy thing is defining the range of the sliders to suit the pwm levels on the arduino end.. so, [0 – 255] values...

$100 light bulbs

Philips has a new led lightbulb coming soon for $12, but of course it doesn’t have wifi or bluetooth radios for that price. cheap and hackable led bulbs are being done on kick starter too (but also without a radio). this is because just the wifi radio costs $15 dollars. but.. is a sweet rgb led bulb with wifi be worth 100? the costs are mostly in the communications....

Home Automation

Home Automation for Disability this has been a very messy few weeks, months even, but finally I have the perfect home-theater/workout-out .. living room. i can do my pulls and watch movies through the rainy months in great comfort (and no excuses not to exercise daily). great effort was required to get this false ceiling in place, but it was worth it. there are no more wires stapled, taped,...

Drobo Fail

I own two drobos and they have saved the day a few times, but also have caused great frustration too. Why buy two of them then? Well, drobo won the american business awards for best product, and many more. The problem is that it’s simply underpowered hardware and that the hard drives can’t be mounted by any other system. Now I can say a few nice things about about...

Back to the Wall

BACK TO THE WALL chronicles the 10-year journey of a quadriplegic rock-climber, Brad Zdanivsky, as he pursues his dream of climbing the 1700-foot vertical wall of the Squamish Chief. But sheer desire it not enough. An epic attempt like this also needs passionate support and a strong team to make it happen, and for Brad, it’s his dad that leads the pack. With the support of professional mountain guide...

Motorized Bed Repair

So, things break and need repairs. My Dad has always said.. “don’t repair, fit the spare”, but this part hasn’t been available a long time. I looked, made calls, sent emails, got calls back.. but no luck. The board is simple, just a few AC Power relays, but it is the controller for my bed and I needed it working as soon as possible. after an hour with the...

Arduino Pan and Tilt Servos

Testing pan and tilt from servo city here is an arduino sketch (below) to control a pan and tilt system from your keyboard. I chose high torque servos hoping they would be a bit smoother and less “buzzy” when tracking into new positions. with the lightweight gopro camera there is still some jittering, but nothing that can’t be removed with a good video editing tool. servo city claims this...

Testing Wheelchair Brakes

Here is a short video of us testing the elevation wheelchair with the disk brakes we designed. This project has been both frustrating and rewarding. The tiny details add up quickly. The disk brakes require a bit of extra chair width and this can be deal breaker for most users. It can make getting into older buildings, especially bathrooms, impossible, but outside all that matters is stopping force and...

Data Acquisition on Arduino

better scrollbars for disability

For people with poor hand function the gesture recognition on most laptops is impossible to use. I have to turn the two, three finger and swipe commands off all together. This makes scrolling a pain (many pages and browsers hide scrollbars now also), but this is easy fix with css. First enter this command into a terminal window (might need sudo): defaults write “Apple Global Domain” AppleScrollBarVariant DoubleBoth For...

Wheelchair Disk Brakes

disk brakes for wheelchairs it’s been a braking with software (on board arduino or android). As a quadriplegic I don’t want to take my hands off the wheels to apply the brakes because this throws off my balance (especially on uneven ground or with muscle spasms to contend with). When adding power assist motors, a user must have the ability to stop even if that motor is malfunctioning. So...

Testing the GoPro Hero 3

A Wheelchair as a GoPro dolly? Testing the camera on the seawall in Vancouver. this is simply the GoPo handle bar mount attached to my wheelchair. I imported into final cut and shared to youtube directly. I did the colour balance step after a few basic edits. be sure to try it in different resolutions. the 720p and 1080p version look really good. youtube’s on stabilization took out most...

CKNW sunday night sex

So I was interviewed on a topic other than climbing and/or boosting on Maureen McGrath’s radio show. I couldn’t help but talk about boosting and autonomic dysreflexia, but they are in fact, very much related. I chopped out the segment I’m in, following tips for premature ejaculation, and posted in here. I think I’m the worst person to ask about dating in Vancouver. I think she missed my dragon...

boosting in the games

I was recently interviewed here in Vancouver about the boosting that will be going on in the coming paralympic games. No one actually participating in these events would ever discus performance boosting obviously, so Sky News in London found my blog and got in touch. They wanted to know how it works and “is this cheating”? This is a loaded question in my mind. There are many ways to...

Super Humans

c4 meet the superhumans from envy post on Vimeo. About bloody time I say. Please no more of the warm and fuzzy videos of Paralympic games. In the past these ads have been simply vomit inducing and don’t do the athletes any justice. Finally the marketing people are getting it — these athletes are badass. They work hard for years to get to the games and then they throw...

free education in computer science

I am finally wanting to learn again. No papers and exams, but learning for fun. Remember when that was true? As a kid, my friends and I would create small dams with sand and mud, then upend the buckets of water to see if our design actually worked. A few summers later, I was adding water wheels down stream and asking my Dad about how our electric lights stay...

Performance Boosting

sending attachments from android

Here is a simple class to send yourself a gmail from your Arndoid phone. You’ll need mail.jar in your eclipse project, but the rest is just this one class below. We are using this to test on the chair bot (OpenPAW). It is very useful to send all the debug files right to your email box. Further, the zephyropen framework can send data directly to the cloud on event...

new battery and chair mount

From drawing board to being ready to install in single day? Colin, same guy that is now selling wifi robots, salvaged an old power drill to go with the new Lithium-ion battery pack for my chair. More Ardiuno and IOIO protects are possible now that I have a power supply I can remove and charge myself.

aldebaran robotics’ nao

Solid state sensors and high torque servos are getting cheaper all the time, but it is the software methodologies that needed to change for walking to be considered a “primitive behavior”. Any kids learning about robots would, and should, assume that we have walking sorted. Getting back into standing from an unknown state, say on bumpy uneven ground — that’s still tricky. Google is going to lead the cloud...

icord ramp fitness test

icord ramp fitness test I keep score of wheelchair races at ICORD. Here is an example video of Jaime and Brad on the ramp. This shows the difference between a T6 paraplegic (gold medallist) vs a C5 tetraplegic. You can record your own effort, or see the current statistics. current records: NAME ABILITY TIME CHAIR RECORD Pat Anderson Amputee 42 sec bb world record Katie Able Bodied 1:14 bb...

java networking labs

Networking with java Lab1 — Introduction to Java Development Lab2 — TCP Sockets Lab3 — UDP Sockets Lab4 — FTP Design Lab5 — Sending Email Lab6 — HTTP Server Lab7 — Digest Authentication These labs were written for UBC computer science in 2012. The content now has a few dead links and links and better ways of doing things, but they will get you going on java quickly. these...

sexual health education

Sexual Health Education for Spinal Cord Injury These are a few videos we made with Dr. Elliott(sexual health doctor) discussing sperm retrieval and vibro-stimulation with Dr Ip (family doctor). This is basic information for quadriplegics that are going through rehab and want to avoid dangerous Autonomic Dysreflexia while being sexual. More here on things you didn’t know about orgasm on TED talks.

sexual health education

These are a few videos we made with Dr. Elliott (sexual health doctor) discussing sperm retrieval and vibro-stimulation with Dr Ip (family doctor). This is basic information for quadriplegics that want to avoid dangerous Autonomic Dysreflexia while being sexual. More here on TED

better text entry for disability

In past posts, I’ve ranted about resistive vs capacitive screens for typing. Apple’s phone and tablet are great, but as a quad with poor hand function, most will prefer to use a finger nail to type. On my Nokia 5800 this works well and the new firmware has better smooth scrolling (inertia in the flicking though contact list for example). Some technology that came from eye tracking has seen...

super tankers a threat?

Regardless of how you feel about big oil companies, government and hippie activists… light needs to be shed on how many super tankers are in local waters. One good friend that works in the environmental business (yes that’s a business like any other) says that it is not fair to compare the unending leak from the earth’s crust with an oil tanker. Sure.. I’ll take a known volume on...

Paralympic Torch Relay

squamish paralympic torch relay I wish I had more to say in this video. It really took some time for it to sink in. Certainly a once in a life time opportunity. Everyone was really excited and to be honest.. the thing I remember the most was the things fellow torchbearers said. I recall two guys that had autism and were better prepared to answer the question than I...

isaac asimov on bill moyers

I enjoyed the Asimov books my Dad has collected, and very much want to believe that people want to learn. That, in general, people prefer learning to passive entertainment because engaging. Game designers leverage this all the time to get us to strive to get to the next level of a game. Only when we know there will be a test after do we recoil in horror.

where is my jet pack?

It’s now way past 2010… So, where’s my jetpack? Disability research integration is not happening. Not like it needs too. I’ve seen the problem from several points of view now and feel justified in a little rant. Scientists generally hate mixing with business, but this is the reality. The business of keeping a lab open and publishing regularly is difficult and in direct conflict with the new buzzwords: “Community...

quadriplegics and exercise

Candice explains how a paraplegic and a quadriplegic differ in exercise response.

dangers of boosting

If Dr. Andrei Krassioukov gets his way, the days of some Paralympic athletes putting their lives in danger to increase their athletic performance may be over. Despite an international ban on the practice, some Paralympic athletes with spinal cord injuries are using a dangerous technique called “boosting” to increase their blood pressure in the heat of competition. Dr. Krassioukov studies autonomic dysfunctions, which are dysfunctions in the parts of...

my new ride?

I’ve been following Boston Dynamics awhile now. They seem to be the most stable legs around..

nokia java runtime 2.0 for s60

Is Symbian going to make it on mobile devices? I’ve used java a long time now and hoped the fragmentation would be sorted out for by now. My first experience with S60 was pretty shocking. Sun’s SDK for wireless devices is actually really good, but runs on the emulator generally won’t on the actual device. It is a very slow and painful debugging process to test on emulator, then...

icord ramp record for women

Amira (able bodied and a swimmer) sets the record for women at icord and gets close to the times of a T4 para in an everyday chair. She is using Pat Anderson’s Basket Ball chair here).

icord ramp record

Pat Anderson sets the record at 42 seconds! .. and he recovers to baseline heart rate and bloodpreesue quickly, “normally.”

Discovery Channel

Discovery Channel news show we agreed to do after the Back to the Wall (on IMDB) documentary short was air on CBC and later on the Knowledge Network.

zephyropen

Zephyr Open is an open source code project to provide a framework for BlueTooth Physiological Sensors. Heart rate and blood pressure Monitors, gps and Wii Remotes are supported. What kind of mash-ups can you envision? Games for rehab? Distributed games and Virtual coaching? ** This project is available on github, but has been replaced by by my tracks. With the framework is a simple SWING Application to search and...

Leaning Tower Rope Jumps

Safety is an illusion. This kind of adventure just makes it very clear that you are playing with fire. Evey day we take great risks without truly knowing them, because we'd rather not know. Now jump off a cliff with only an 11mm rope to stop you from hitting the dirt... now that is about as "real" as things get. I've never done anything even close to this, but...

High Roller on Uncle Ben’s Route

Brad and Dave on the "Uncle Ben's" route. This roof section was chosen as a testing grounds for larger climbs in California. We were "lucky" to some get strong wind on this day. Instead of suffering in hot sun all day, we froze instead... but could get good understanding of how the rig does in real weather. Was enough wind to make communication difficult and ropes frustrating to manage....

When your vibrator lets you down

Reading about vibrator quality from a male quadriplegic seems a touch odd to you? Well, that is why I'm writing about it. After a spinal cord injury we really just want to feel normal, and the basic bodily functions are a always affected. Worse, some folks with spinal cord injuries simply cut off sexual activities because they don't dare mess with Autonomic_dysreflexia

bluetooth on J2me platforms

ok, few links to errors I’m seeing thus far: Future Exception is a new one! This error only started after I re-flashed my Nokia 5800 with version 21 of the firmware. I used to get further, the URL was discovered from the service search and I’d even get asked for permission to connect… and then get This error Again, my code is freely available to test your connection issues,...

j2me on nokia 5800

Ok, more on java on mobile devices. There has been some long delays using java on S60 when really, this shouldn’t be difficult to port code from mac to cell phone if it is all pure java? Read my “Batman Phone Review” to see the first round of driver issues with this phone. After finally getting the Flashing Cable (CA-101) to work the firmware upgrade on the phone only...

pys60 now installs on noika 5800

PyS60 now installs without errors on the Nokia 5800 Posted using ShareThis

vo2max testing at UBC

First VO2max tet done at UBC. My score is about as bad as you'll ever be able to find -- somewhere between an old woman and a cancer patent. But, this is something one can train, and I try to post other results to add some context.

nokia 5800 (batman phone) review

OK, some nerd rage ahead, but also few tips on JavaME development. Long story, but the ZephyrOpen code project was first running on chips as meager as the TINI java chips. Growing power and java support on cell phones made these boards obsolete for my needs while Rock Climbing. So, now a mid range cell phone has everything I need up there, including a video stream. (original system, batteries...

European Disability Sport Magazine

Now we are in a European Disability Sport Magazine. I'll try to get a translation of the article in English.

icord ramp tests

DR. Andrei Krassioukov measures change in Blood Pressure and Heart Rate in a quadriplegic vs a paraplegic.

Testing in the Trees

evening rock

This is the only footage I have pre-injury. It was taken on a Father’s day circa 1992 in Prince George buy my Dad. He belayed me off of a large tree and put a VHS camera on a tri pod. this crag no longer exists, it was blown up by the quarry company long ago and is/in probably someone’s driveway now.