I tried the Swagway electric skateboard and didn't die

Minus about 7 good mutants on the short list. :wink:

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I am not convinced that being given an item one would not have bought constitutes payment, because it does not sound like it provides any incentive in itself. My attitudes might be unusual though - I think advertising is an unnecessary relic, and that money itself is not innately worth anything. But if somebody dumped a truckload of “consumer goods” upon me to review online, I would not feel compelled to misrepresent my opinions.

Then again, I feel that opinions about consumer goods tend to be a waste of bandwidth.

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so those socks with those shoes clash so hard it makes me less gay


…and didn’t die of shame for mindlessly shilling on boing boing.

True, but not everybody is quite so scrupulous as you. Others may be inclined to give more favourable reviews in exchange for more free goods in the future.


Can we design something along the line of a powered exoskeleton, that could be hidden under trousers, assist with spending less energy on walking/running, allowing faster running, and be effectively difficult to ban for the do-gooder bureaucrats?


Right? My mom’s got a second-hand mobility scooter that retailed for almost $4000 and even it doesn’t have a simple charge controller in it - utterly ridiculous. And eventually the on-board “Don’t charge for more than 24 hours” charger just quit working, so I hook the batteries up to a car battery charger I got from Sears for $29. Which means that the Pride scooter people couldn’t figure out how to put a circuit that retails for $29 - and probably costs a fraction of that to manufacture - into their $4K scooter.


yes. you get past all the restrictions by making it about mobility assistance rather than recreation.


Dual-use FTW!

You get something that’s pretty difficult to ban for crowd #2, something that’s mass-produced enough to be cheap for the crowd #1, and a pretty good help for those who wouldn’t qualify for a real mobility aid or a disability but it would still be helpful for you and increase your quality of life even if you could go without, bordering between assistive and recreational device.

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Is it possible that they have some certifications requirements that would make the $29 circuitry into a $1000 add-on, while the scooter itself would be a $500 affair without the paperwork needed to go into the components?

It’s highly unlikely. I have purchased electronic cigarettes with overcharge protection for $6 retail.

My current battery not only has said protection it also has an ohms meter and digital text and icon display all for around what he paid for his charger.

If you can get a battery you carry in your pocket a UL approval then you can certainly get one for this scooter. Hell, we have an electric bike at work that cost around $600 and it has overcharge protection.

I really think it’s just poor design and quality assurance ethics.

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I believe you. But since FTC rules say this should be disclosed, why not disclose it?

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Never underestimate the amount of paperwork that goes into anything classified as a medical device. Which many of the assistive technologies apparently have to be. (I may be wrong, I often am when it comes to bureaucracy; that’s one of the few areas where I have no desire to learn more. And one of the core drivers for my do-it-yourself-or-via-a-friend, difficult-to-regulate, difficult-to-suppress architectures. Anything to not have to fill a form.)

Of course you can. It is even technically easy. There may be however some other factors involved; from incompetence to laziness to insufficient competition in the too-small-for-enough-players sector, with paperwork optionally multiplying the height of the molehills of issues to true mountains.

What we need here are easy to make, open, modular designs for anything. Need a special scooter for whatever ails you? For couple 100s $ to your neighborhood’s underemployed metalsmith you can get it welded and populated with an Arduino-controlled pair of motors running on downloadable firmware. With battery charger module that has more bells and whistles than an Indian truck and costs $2.50 and is so generically designed it can be used in everything.

Death to the profiteers.

Doing so because there is a rule would be backwards - one would do it for the same reason that such rules might exist - because there is a reason to. But I haven’t read them yet, myself.

I agree that there is no reason not to, I favor transparency. But I also don’t assume that anybody really gets anything out of it either way. The reason for transparency is not because it is honest, but rather because it is accurate.

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Why label “sponsored content” below each post for those awful “trick you didn’t know” bullshit but not actual paid-for posts?

Fwiw, I assumed he got the swagway provided to him by the vendor by his change of style to only mention “When I received mine”

As ever, the Japanese are way ahead of the curve. I could have posted the picture of the cool, sensible mobility assisting leg units; but this just seemed so much more Japanese…


not ONLY in Japan, exoskeletons are an active research area all over the world.

the robo-mate (stupid name) is developed by an European consortium


But can she blow the queen alien out of the airlock?

(I reeeeeeally want the answer to be yes)


Does it come with Kung-fu action grip? Because a tech that can augment your arm strength doesn’t seem all that useful if it’s not going to augment the most fragile and useful parts of your arms ie the hands and fingers.


there is a reason to

Robert Cialdini wrote a pretty good book called “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”. He talks about free gifts and how they instill a sense of debt in the receiver. When companies give away products for review, the reviewer will usually be influenced by that and write a more positive review than they would have otherwise. You say you are immune to that (and some people are), but most people are not.