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Exploring the engineering behind comic book superheroes

01 September 2016

Get hands-on with superhuman technology this September, as engineers showcase the latest brain and body-enhancing innovations at New Scientist Live.

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From augmented reality helmets inspired by Marvel’s Iron Man to award-winning robotic legs that are helping amputees walk with ease, the kit on display will reveal how engineers are pushing the boundaries of wearable technology and body enhancement to reach levels of capability previously only seen in science fiction.

As a strategic partner in New Scientist Live, the Royal Academy of Engineering is proud to showcase some of its award-winning engineers at the four-day event in London. Inspired by the latest comic book characters taking cinema screens by storm, the Academy’s exhibits will examine how close we are to emulating our favourite superheroes with new technology, and introduce visitors to the creative engineers behind the inventions that are bringing together man and machine.

Some of the engineering on display will include:

• State of the art prosthetics – the world’s most intelligent prosthetic limb, the Linx from Blatchford is the first fully integrated, microprocessor-controlled lower limb system. It won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s MacRobert Award 2016.

• Build your own Iron Man - superhero enthusiast and engineer Matt Dickinson, Lecturer in Computer Aided Engineering at the University of Central Lancashire, will be showcasing an Iron Man-inspired helmet and glove, and a Dr Octopus-style tentacle. Matt received a Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious grant for his 2014 Hero Lab project.

• NeuroSensi - a mind-controlled game – visitors can see how computers can be controlled with just their thoughts as they play NeuroSensi, a game developed by Damien Coyle, Professor of Neurotechnology at Ulster University. It uses NeuroCONCISE, a technology that is already being trialled to help those with victims of spinal and brain injuries. Professor Coyle was awarded a 2016 Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellowship to develop his NeuroCONCISE business.

The engineers form just one part of a huge four-day festival of discovery from the team behind the popular weekly science magazine, New Scientist. Rooted in the biggest, best and most provocative science that touches all areas of human life, the event will feature over 200 exhibitors, 120 speakers, five theatres and four immersive zones covering the brain and body, technology, earth and the cosmos to showcase how science, technology and engineering drive our economy, shape our culture and improve our lives.

New Scientist Live takes place from 22-25 September 2016 at the ExCel, London. A discounted rate on tickets is available by quoting RAENG16 when booking or calling 0844 581 1295.

Tickets for Thursday or Friday at the show are just £20 – saving £9 per ticket on the door rate.

Tickets for Saturday or Sunday at the show are just £22.50 - saving £6.50 per ticket on the door rate.

Click here to book your tickets.


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