Oscar Constanza is a 16-year-old boy who has been using a wheelchair to get around up until now. Oscar is now the pilot of an exoskeleton that allows him to get up and walk despite his genetic neurological condition. Oscar’s story gets even more inspiring because it was his father, Jean-Louis Constanza, who co-founded a company to make exoskeletons and help his son and many others across the globe.
Jean-Louis Constanza Was Inspired By His Son to Engineer the Exoskeleton
Jean-Louis co-founded Wandercraft after his son told him that because he is a robotic engineer, he should make a robot to allow Oscar and people with similar problems to walk. Constanza got inspired by the words of his son, and today, Wandercraft’s exoskeleton is real and fully functional. The outer frame supports and simulates body movement and has already been sold to dozens of hospitals in Europe and the United States. The current price of the engineering marvel is $176,000 apiece.
Jean-Louis did not develop the exoskeleton by himself. Wandercraft recruits top mechanical engineers, roboticists, and coders and often enlists experts from medical, biomedical, biomechanical, and other areas.
Wandercraft’s Exoskeleton Sends Signals to Move the Body Via a Remote Controller
It is enough for Oscar to give the exoskeleton an order, and the frame strapped to his body would lift him and allow him to walk. The frame is fastened to the shoulders, waist, knees, chest, and feet and allows Oscar to walk across the room and turn around despite his disability. The exoskeleton solves the problem with the severed connection of the brain with parts of the body by having the information being relayed from the remote controller instead. Reportedly, it allows disabled people not only to walk but take part in other activities that would otherwise be challenging.
According to Jean-Louis, ten years from now, there will be none or very few wheelchairs. This appears to ring true because other companies are also creating their own exoskeletons, competing to build the light, easy to use, and with better functionality. Some focus on helping disabled people walk while others are set on creating other applications for the technology, like making standing less tiring for people like factory workers.
Wandercraft’s exoskeleton is not yet available for purchase to private individuals, but that is among the goals for the next stage of development. The company wants to make personal exoskeletons much lighter and simpler to use.
It’s in human nature to want to build stuff now and then. Some take it to a professional level and make their living out of it and some are just sticking to assembling Ikea furniture. If you’re the second kind and want to take it to the next level, a birdhouse is a great idea. It can be used to attract swallows, bluebirds, chickadees, warblers, nuthatches, woodpeckers, wrens, and other birds in your backyard or garden.
Building a Simple DIY Birdhouse
The following plans require just a single board and only a few tools. It’s perfect for beginners and it’s guaranteed fun. Here’s what you need:
- Power Drill
- Drill bit
Step 1. Cut the Board
Cut the 1×6 board as shown in the plan below. We also recommend sanding all pieces. This is not a necessary step, but it delivers a better result. Cedar and pine are great materials options.
Step 2. Drill the Entrance Hole
Using a spade bit or Forstner bit, drill a 1.5-inch hole 4 inches off the floor. 1.5 inches is the optimum diameter for bluebirds and tree swallows, but bigger birds such as nuthatches, warblers, woodpeckers, chickadees, and wrens can also make this birdhouse their home.
Step 3. Pre-Drill Pilot Holes
To prevent the wood from splitting later, you should drill pilot holes and ideally, those holes should be at least as large as the screw’s minor diameter.
Step 4. Assemble the Sides & Floor
Get your glue (waterproof wood glue is recommended, but regular will do the job as well) and screws ready to attach the back to the floor of the birdhouse. Then, repeat the same process with the sides and front of the nest box. Using trim screws is better as their head is less obvious and also helps prevent the wood from splitting.
Step 5. Assemble the Roof
One of the top panels is ¾ less than the other panel but when you attach them, the overhand will be the same on both sides. After the sides are fastened together, attach the roof to the birdhouse using only screws. This is important as you can easily open it in the future for cleaning.
Finish up the house by drilling several ¼ holes in the floor.
Step 6. Painting & Hanging
Choose a color of liking and apply some sort of finish. We recommend linseed oil as it helps accentuate the grain and also helps make the wood more resistant to the outside elements. As soon as everything dries, you can mount the birdhouse anywhere you like.
Building a birdhouse is not only a fun DIY project but also encourages birds to move in and raise families in your backyard, hence providing you with natural pest control.