This week's Friday Night Video follows the design and testing of a prosthetic foot for rock climbing. Kai Lin's KLIPPA prosthetic foot is inspired by mountain goats and a desire to help people. The film explores his design process with Craig DeMartino, from which the pair serve up a holy grail for adaptive rock climbers – a prosthetic foot that won't just level the playing field but will dish up, if not superpowers, then a real sense of empowerment.
I am almost lost for words to describe the pretentiousness, not to mention crass inaccuracy, of this film. As someone with experience of designing rock-climbing equipment, I can tell you that this breaks pretty much every rule of how you do it. I forced myself to watch the first half, but when we got to the bollocks about curves having energy I couldn't take any more.
Prententious? no more than 50% of other UKC articles. Most pretend more than we like to admit. I did not find this article excessively so.
As to breaking rules I did not expect a Design Manual even though the intro does use the phrase "explore the design process". "Design process"is somewhat misleading but not, I suggest, to a general reader.
The comments on curves and energy do suggest a misunderstanding of mechanics, statics and dynamics but this article is not an educational textbook.
I found the article interesting and a little bit thought provoking if not educational. But I assume it was not intended to be such.
I was interested to see the results and that it appeared (on the routes shown) that the climber seemed to be able to climb fairly naturally (whatever that might mean) with it. Wonder how it would do with smearing.
As for all the "design process" stuff, not got a view either way, maybe it was needed to flesh out the film for non-climbers. From a climbing perspective it would have been better to have more climbing showing the design in action and also to see what prosthetic he was climbing with before and how this was an improvement. Also how does it compare to Hugh Herr's bionic stuff.
> Also how does it compare to Hugh Herr's bionic stuff.
When HH was climbing his prosthetics were extremely rudimentary, just rigid extensions of what was left of his limbs with various shaped, but immobile feet with a patch of rubber on the sole. Nowadays they're a little different...
Thanks for those, I'd seen some of his other TED talks but it's quite amazing how what happened to him has shaped his life in this way. I remember (as I'm sure you do) pictures of him climbing what was at that time cutting edge routes with his "basic" artificial legs, and his comments about making his legs longer when he didn't quite have the reach
Did you ever meet him when you were climbing in the states?
No I didn't, but I did hear a great story about HH trying to onsight the famous Sphinx Crack in Colorado. He was equipped with feet that fit the crack perfectly and was going well... when one of the feet became completely jammed in the crack. No amount of effort would release it. In desperation he decided he'd try to continue with one leg/foot and made a move up hoping the leg would just pull off. It did... however his lycra tights were an integral part of the the prosthetic's attachment and simply stretched but remained firmly attached to both climber and foot. In the end gravity solved the situation. Apparently he never managed to reach his high point again.