Family Reveals "Beautiful Experience" of Mark Hamill Visiting Terminally Ill Boy as Luke Skywalker
"In the midst of struggle and tragedy, it was those points of connection that makes you feel loved and less isolated," says Joe Sikorra whose son, John, succumbed to juvenile Batten's Disease.The request was a long shot. But Ed Solomon, the screenwriter best known for Men in Black and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, had to try for his friend, Joe Sikorra, whose son was dying of juvenile Batten's Disease (JNCL).
© University of Utah Using a robotic arm that allowed him to feel objects again, Keven Walgamott was able to pick a grape without crushing it. Keven Walgamott wasn’t sure what to expect when scientists first hooked up what was left of his arm to a computer.
Last year — 14 years after he lost his hand and part of his arm in an electrical accident — he heard about a team at the University of Utah working on an experimental robotic arm. The prosthetic hand and fingers would be controlled by an amputee’s own nerves. Even more challenging, researchers were trying to restore the sense of touch to amputees through that robotic hand.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi features an alien inspired by Carrie Fisher's dog
Gary is now a space dog. The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson has confirmed that the upcoming film features an alien creature that is inspired by the late Carrie Fisher’s canine sidekick, Gary the French bulldog. An eagle-eyed fan spotted the being in the background of new stills from the Dec. 15 movie that were featured in Empire magazine. The image is in the casino of Canto Bight and behind John Boyega’s Finn and Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose is an otherworldly being who is holding a rumpled alien pet with bugging eyes. @rianjohnson we @FanthaTracks want to know if you can confirm this cute little creature is #spacegary in #TheLastJedipic.twitter.com/0if7XRiqog— clair henry (@irishgeekgirl) December 6, 2017 Johnson immediately confirmed the appearance of SpaceGary. YES! Wow, good eyes.— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) December 6, 2017 After exploring the world of a young smuggler in Solo, maybe SpaceGary could be the next Star Wars standalone.
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Walgamott volunteered for the experimental program. A few weeks after surgeons implanted electrodes into the nerves of his arm last year, he found himself hooked up to a computer getting ready to touch something with his left hand for the first time in more than a decade.
The Utah researchers had created a computer program to simulate the feel of touching a virtual wall — an early test to prepare Walgamott for the robotic arm.
As Walgamott moved his arm, a virtual hand on the computer screen before him moved as well, plunking down the ridges of the corrugated wall.
“It was stunning. I could actually feel the wall. I could feel the bumps along it,” he said. “It almost brought tears to my eyes.”
Star Wars: The Last Jedi hailed as best since Empire in first reviews
As Mark Hamill exclaimed during a Facebook Q&A, “Is there a penguin in the Antarctic that doesn’t know that The Last Jedi opens on Dec. 15?” Practically everyone in the galaxy is going to see the latest Star Wars film — this one directed by Looper‘s Rian Johnson. But in case you needed more incentive, the first reviews for the next chapter in the Skywalker Saga have arrived. A sequel to J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi picks up with Rey (Daisy Ridley) honing her Jedi abilities on the Ahch-To island where she found Luke Skywalker (Hamill). The aged knight is still feeling guilt from training his nephew, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), as he witnesses the raw power wielded by this mysterious woman. Meanwhile, the First Order continues to rally as General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) prepares for new dangers, reformed Stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) wakes from his medical coma and teams with a Rebel mechanic named Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), and the best darn pilot in the galaxy Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) hops in an X-Wing to blow stuff up. There’s also the return of familiar characters (like Andy Serkis’ Supreme Leader Snoke and Gwendoline Christie’s Captain Phasma) and some new ones (like Laura Dern’s Admiral Holdo and Benicio Del Toro’s DJ). Initial reactions from critics over social media were largely positive.
© University of Utah The “Luke” arm, a robotic prosthetic created by DEKA and named after the sci-fi robotic hand wielded by Luke Skywalker. Then researchers attached the robotic arm itself, putting Walgamott through a battery of tests over 14 months that had him touch and manipulate objects with it.
“When I went to grab something, I could feel myself grabbing it. When I thought about moving this or that finger, it would move almost right away,” he said. “I don’t know how to describe it except that it was like I had a hand again.”
At the Society for Neuroscience conference in Washington on Tuesday, the University of Utah team presented part of their work on adding the sense of touch and movement to prostheses — the latest step in the rapidly developing field of neuroprosthetics.
Over the course of the past year, while working with Walgamott as their key subject, they have found adding touch to prostheses markedly improves motor skills of amputees compared with robotic prostheses on the market. Adding the sense of touch to prosthetic hands also appears to reduce a painful feeling many amputees experience called phantom pain, and it creates a sense of ownership over the device, researchers said.
Jodie Sweetin ordered to pay ex $2,800 a month in child support
Jodie Sweetin's ex claims she makes $600,000 a year from "Fuller House."The "Fuller House" star was ordered to dish out $2,800 per month to her ex-husband, Morty Coyle for their 7-year-old daughter, Beatrix, TMZ reported on Dec. 19.
“By adding sensory feedback, it becomes a closed-loop system that mimics biology,” said Jacob George, a bioengineering PhD student at the University of Utah and lead author of Tuesday’s study. The goal, he explained, is to get prosthetic technology to a point where someone using a prosthesis wouldn’t have to think through every movement to pick up a cup. They wouldn’t even have to look at the cup. They would simply move the hand toward it using their brain and existing nervous system, feel it and pick it up.
© University of Utah University of Utah researchers have developed technology that allows users to feel through this robotic arm. In one experiment, they were able to use the hand to distinguish soft foam from hard plastic. The most cutting-edge prosthetic hands available can make sophisticated movements, but they require complicated — and often imprecise — methods of operation. Some rely on tilt motions by the user’s foot and others on movements by the muscles remaining in a user’s arm.
The Utah research group’s approach, however, relies on a device called the Utah Slanted Electrode Array. The device is implanted directly into the nerves in a subject’s arm. The USEA, along with electrodes implanted in muscles, allows amputees to control a robotic hand as if they were flexing or moving their original hand. The approach also allows signals like sensation to be transmitted back to the subject’s nervous system, creating a “looped system” — like in a human limb — where the hand’s feeling and movements inform each other.
Rian Johnson addresses The Last Jedi backlash, says necessary for Star Wars to 'grow'
Rian Johnson has heard the fans’ complaints about The Last Jedi — and it turns out it doesn’t bother him that his film is sparking so many conversations. In response to a fan asking whether he thought it was a good thing The Last Jedi has been so polarizing among audiences, Johnson wrote in a tweet, “The goal is never to divide or make people upset, but I do think the conversations that are happening were going to have to happen at some point if sw is going to grow, move forward, and stay vital.” The goal is never to divide or make people upset, but I do think the conversations that are happening were going to have to happen at some point if sw is going to grow, move forward and stay vital.— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) December 21, 2017 The Last Jedi has been a hit with critics and at the box office, earning rave reviews that have declared the film the best entry in the franchise since Empire Strikes Back. It also scored the second highest opening of all time (behind The Force Awakens), raking in $220 million at the box office in its first weekend. And early numbers suggest it won’t slow down anytime soon. Still, in spite of that, the film has proved divisive online among fans, with many railing against the film’s depiction of Luke Skywalker, aspects of the Force, and other subplots. Many have chalked up the polarizing response to internet trolls, particularly racism and sexism against a film that displays a wide range of female leadership and heroic actions from a diverse cast.
“We often think of touch as one thing, but it’s more than that. It’s pressure, vibration, temperature, pain,” said Gregory Clark, the bioengineering professor leading the Utah research team. Because of that, it has required painstakingly slow work from a multidisciplinary team of experts — over the course of years — to build those sensations into the robotic arm, figure out which spot on the hand corresponds with which nerve fiber in the arm and the algorithms required to send touch signals back into the nervous system.
Clark’s team is part of a larger effort funded by the U.S. military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. DARPA launched its neuroprosthetic program in 2014 — called HAPTIX — with the goal of developing an advanced robotic arm within years that would help amputees feel and move intuitively. The researchers received additional funding from National Science Foundation.
The robotic arm the Utah researchers have been working with was developed under the HAPTIX program by the company DEKA (the company founded by Segway inventor Dean Kamen). The state-of-the-art robotic limb was dubbed the “Luke” arm by its makers, after the advanced prosthesis wielded by Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars.”
The results of the Utah group’s experimental tests so far have been both gratifying and inspiring, the researchers said.
Walgamott -a real estate agent in Utah — described the joy of being able to do everyday mundane tasks again with his left hand — like picking up an egg without crushing it, clasping his hands together and holding his wife’s hand.
But the highlight of his entire 14 months in the experimental program, he said, was being able to put a pillow into a pillowcase on his own.
“When you have just one hand, you learn to adapt,” he said, describing the infuriatingly slow process he usually uses for pillowcases, pulling them on inch by inch on each side, rotating the whole time. “To just take a pillow in one hand and put the pillowcase on with the other. I know it sounds simple, but it’s amazing.”
Fargo's Carrie Coon Is Pregnant, Expecting First Child With Tracy Letts .
Congrats are in order! Actress Carrie Coon is pregnant and expecting her first child with husband Tracy Letts, a source confirms to Us Weekly.With award season in full swing, the busy couple have a lot to celebrate this year — including their baby on board.Letts can currently be seen in two of the years biggest hits, The Post and Lady Bird, the latter which he’s nominated alongside his cast for the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.The 36-year-old expectant mother is also coming off a big year.