Zac Vawter, who lost his leg in a motorcycle accident in 2009, wore the "smart leg" as part of a fund raiser for the Rehab Institute of Chicago. He climbed 103 flight of steps in 52 minutes and 9 seconds.
The smart leg measures electrical signals generated by the amputees hamstring muscles. A motorized ankle and knee helped synchronize the leg. The motors, belts and chains in the smart leg are controlled by the thoughts of the user.
I can't begin to describe how incredibly proud we are of Levi and the team of researchers that he works with. Levi would be quick to explain that it is a team accomplishment. Gus and I have been privileged to meet a few of his co-workers and we knew immediately that we were meeting incredibly smart, talented and hardworking people.
As farfetched as this may seem, some of the technology that Levi has helped develop for the bionic leg is also being used at our sugar house. A few years back when Levi was at UNB doing research for his doctorate, he and a group or 4 other graduate students worked on a project for Canadian Organic Maple to develop a monitoring and control system for sap flow and vacuum monitoring. We have used this system over the past 4 years for real time control and data collection during the maple season.
The staff at Canadian Organic Maple are all proud of Levi and look forward to his visits back home. As they monitor the sap flow and vacuum pressure, they all know that Levi is keeping an eye on all of us from his office in Chicago. His frequent calls to the sugar house during maple season let us know he is with us in spirit. Levi tells me he has four seasons on his calendar: fishing season, hunting season, Christmas season and maple season.
Gus and I have exported lots of product to the United States during these last 14 years but our most valuable export and the one we are the most proud of has been Levi.