Friday, June 15, 2012

Bob, a Spider & The Chair

Unless you are disabled what do you know about being disabled? 
Our neighbor Bob is a Barber and as long as I have known him he has been in a motorized chair, which he uses to walk his fat Scottie dog Coco and generally get around town. Bob the Barber could not barber after he lost his legs due to diabetes, he was determined it wasn't going to stop him from  his work. Through E.A.T.I. Equipment and Assistive Technology  Initiative and CanAssist at the University of Victoria, they were able to come up with a chair they called "Betty the Barber Chair". The team of engineers Paul Green, Brandon Fry and Mike Lewis worked for seven months building the chair. Bob told them what his requirements were and they were greater than anything they had done so far. "Betty the Barber Chair" was their biggest project, you could get a very nice car for the price of this chair. It's two chairs, the chair the customer sits in and Bob's chair. Bob's chair is like a satellite that goes around the customers chair, Bob's chair also goes up and down and forward and backward. It has three motors and a generator in case the power goes out so he will not get stuck in the chair. Bob likes the quite ride of his chair. If he had any complaints it would be that they used the biggest guy (with legs and long arms) as a model for the chair. He's not really complaining but it would be nice if the chair could move closer to the customer. Bob just makes his seat belt looser so he can get closer. 
Bob the Barber Egely sitting in his new chair in his new shop  in Downtown Enderby BC
When they started the project Bob's legs were the same length. Bob developed a problem with his left leg and the doctors didn't know what the problem was, antibiotics made it worse, he was in the hospital for 6 weeks or so. A specialist looked at his leg and diagnosed a spider bite. They had to amputate more of his leg. Beware the Brown Recluse Spider, they have no intention of hurting you, just make sure it's not in your shoe before you put it on , and check under the covers before you get in bed, that is how Bob was bitten. Brown Recluse Spiders are nocturnal catching their pray by ambushing with a venomous bite. For humans it is always worse to be bitten on the fatty parts of the body, the venom eats it away at a fast rate. A spider bite can be misdiagnosed as the bacterial flesh eating disease. I have been doing a lot of shoe shaking these days and looking under the bedding before I get into bed.

The foot step they added afterwards, so no one would fall if their legs went to sleep while sitting in the chair.

The controls for the motion of the chair. Bob's motorized chair close by.

Bob and I sitting in the chair, with all his barber paraphernalia.

The base of the chair, to the left is what holds up Bob's chair.

This is one of the many old shavers Bob has, from the 1900's.

Bob cutting Tim's hair.

Bob in his chair cutting Tim's hair. Technology working and giving a man his business back.

I hope these baby spiders are not growing up to be Brown Recluse Spiders. They were on the steps of the front door. Does anyone know? What I like about spiders is that they eat the bugs that eat my garden.

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