Canada is great because some of the best technological inventions were made in the country of hockey and maple syrup. Their framework for innovation lies in a great educational system, which supports the innovation process. Now, let’s have a look at some of the best innovative inventions that can call Canada their home country.
Canadarm; The Canadian Space Arm
The Canadarm (shout out to the spot-on name) worked as a hand in the space which the astronauts could use comfortably, from the inside of the space station. The translational hand controller made it possible to control the movement of the hand to the right, up, down, forward and backward. Constructed of graphite-epoxy, 15.2m (50ft) long and 410kg (905lbs) heavy, it manifested Canada’s astonishing robotic skills.
On November 13th in 1981, the now most famous Canadian tech invention made its debut in space. The robotic hand, officially named the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS), was used by NASA successfully for 30 years and was retired after its 90th flight.
After its retirement, the Canadarm was replaced by the Canadarm2, which is the innovative successor put to space in 2001. With 7 joints and a weight of 1,500kg on earth, Canadarm2 is the heavier, but also the more flexible one. Currently, it is used for the control of the station’s maintenance and to organize and move the equipment, supplies and even astronauts around the station. An interesting fact about Canadarm2 is that it will never return to earth since it is designed to be refurbished in space.
Jump here for more details about Canadarm
The Anti G Suit and Why It Rocks
A suit worn by aviators and cosmonauts to prevent the negative effects of extreme levels of acceleration force (g) was invented and designed by a team of scientists lead by Wilbur R. Franks at the University of Toronto’s Medical Institute in 1941. The suit was first used in 1942 by the British RAF Hurricane and Spitfire pilots.
The suit does not completely solve the problem of g-LOC (loss of consciousness under high levels of acceleration), but helps the pilot overcome the challenge of high g longer and adds about 1g to the pilots’ tolerance. An average person can manage 3-5g, but a trained pilot in a g-suit can nowadays sustain a 9g acceleration.
And how exactly does the anti g-suit work? The acceleration force will make the blood pool in the lower areas of the pilot’s body and by that deprive the brain of blood, which ultimately leads to loss of consciousness. The suit has tightly fitting trousers (places under or over the flight suit) with inflatable bladders which will, under high acceleration, pressure the pilot’s legs in order to stop the blood from leaving the brain. Awesome, right?
The Super Cool Robotic Prosthesis
The life of amputees changed forever in 1971 when the first electric prosthetic hand was developed. Helmut Lucas, a medical scientist, crafted the first prosthesis that moved with the command of the user. The prosthesis detected signals directly from the user’s nervous system connected to the controller inside prosthetic hand that processes the signals, such as the force and movement.
Leaving you in the hands of this article if you want details on Luke’s prosthetic arm.
Medical Insulin the Life Saver
Insulin like protein is necessary for all animal life. A low production of insulin leads to high levels of sugar in the blood and is clinically called diabetes mellitus. The Type 1 Diabetes must be treated with extra doses of insulin for the rest of the life of the patient. This was made possible in 1922 when medical insulin was extracted by Frederick Banting, Charles Best, and James Collip. The then unknown doctors used the first doses on themselves to see how they would react. The bovine insulin extract was then used in the same year on humans in Toronto, Canada.
Before their invention, the low level of insulin in patients was believed to eventually lead to the death of patients. This invention, therefore, saved many lives, and in 1923 the Nobel Committee decided to award Banting the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine
To find out how the three doctors solved the fact that only one of them received the Nobel Prize for the invention they made together (and to inject yourself with more info on insulin), click here.
Hope you enjoyed the awesomeness of the Canadian inventions mentioned in this article and if you are hungry for more check out the site that inspired me, or learn more about our home country and the Scandinavian innovation.