Soccer and science and technology in Germany today

I am a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. This is the IEEE, a professional society with more than 340,000 members around the world and a history that goes back to the very beginnings of the electrical engineering profession in the late nineteenth century.

The society recognizes and honors its most accomplished members by making them fellows. The Technical University of Munich lists 22 members of its faculty who have been so honored. One of these IEEE Fellows is Professor Gordon Cheng.

Professor Cheng worked with others to develop an exoskelton. This device provides support and force that supplements what a person’s own bones and muscles can provide. It can enable paralyzed persons to move in ways that their unaided bodies cannot. The technology must communicate to the person information about movement, position, and force (giving a sense of touch) while also reading from the person’s muscles and brain that person’s intentions. Professor Cheng and his collaborators demonstrated the potential of this technology at the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil. A paralyzed man, wearing their exoskelton, kicked a ball during the opening ceremony.

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