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Robotics

Prosthetic-Limbed Runner Disqualified from Olympic Games 509

contraba55 wrote with a link to an Engadget story on a sign of the postmodern times. Oscar Pistorius, a world-class sprinter, has been denied a shot at participating in the Olympics this year. He's a double-amputee, but he's not out because of his handicap; he's disqualified because he's faster than most sprinters. "The runner — who uses carbon-fiber, prosthetic feet — was reviewed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (or IAAF), a review which found the combination of man and machine to be too much for its purely human competitors. According to the IAAF report, the 'mechanical advantage of the blade in relation to the healthy ankle joint of an able bodied athlete is higher than 30-percent.' Additionally, Pistorius uses 25-percent less energy than average runners due to the artificial limbs, therefore giving him an unfair advantage on the track."

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