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Austria's 'Bionic Man' Dies In Car Crash

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the sad-to-hear dept.

Transportation 200

euphemistic writes "An Austrian man who became the first person outside the US to wear thought-powered 'bionic' arms has died from injuries sustained in a car crash ... Kandlbauer, who would have turned 23 next month, sustained severe head injuries when the specially modified car he was driving swerved off the road in the south east of Austria and crashed into a tree on October 19. The cause of the accident is not yet known, particularly whether the neurally-controlled arm-prostheses he had been fitted with might have played a role."

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200 comments

First crash! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007514)

bazinga

Seriously? (-1, Offtopic)

pinkj (521155) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007518)

This was posted yesterday and there are no comments? Unless the comment section is broken...?

Re:Seriously? (0, Flamebait)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007564)

"Posted by timothy on 08:08 PM -- Sunday October 24 2010"

Kinda looks like it was posted 15 minutes ago or so... are you from the future?

Re:Seriously? (2, Informative)

jappleng (1805148) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007590)

I don't know about pinkj but I am. Look at my posting time and you'll see exactly what I mean. It's sad that this guy had to die like this. If you read some of the Chinese tabloids they are blaming American technology wtf?

Re:Seriously? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007614)

Looks like some faggot has mod points again.

Re:Seriously? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007858)

..some of the Chinese tabloids they are blaming American technology wtf?

It's a proactive defense of the "...cheap Chinese parts..." accusation which will inevitably manifest.

Re:Seriously? (2, Insightful)

JohnRoss1968 (574825) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008312)

No its just he gets his news for nerds at more than just /. Its been posted at several other sites including Engadget since yesterday.
Hes not from the future, but its starting to look like Slashdot is from the past.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34008348)

Sorry this is slashdot you will have to get used to getting your news after its old and stale.
Nerds like it that way.

This story has been all over the tech news sites since saturday.
Sorry Slashdot your a day late and a dollar short.
Im just amazed no-one here has even bothered to ask if his arms ran on Linux yet.
Or more to the point tried to blame Windows for this.

I wonder... (5, Funny)

zoom-ping (905112) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007582)

... if pirates ever crashed ships into rocks, cliffs etc because of their 'bionic' limbs.

Re:I wonder... (5, Funny)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007894)

If by "bionic" you mean "rum", and by "limbs" you mean "more rum", then the answer is yes.

Austrian Cyborgs? (5, Funny)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007586)

Where have I heard this story before...

Re:Austrian Cyborgs? (1)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007928)

I've also heard of Cyborgs called Austin....

Re:Austrian Cyborgs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34008240)

As in "Steve", a man "barely alive". We rebuilt him, wehad the technology.

Re:Austrian Cyborgs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34008424)

His last words were heard to be: "I'll be back."

If the arm was the cause? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007612)

I wonder if the arm turned blue when it crashed?

Olympic Games deja vu (4, Funny)

chrism238 (657741) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007640)

Great to see that [Australia] is firmly in the tags for this story.

Re:Olympic Games deja vu (1)

Dr. Zim (21278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007764)

Think that might have anything to do with the story being in the Sidney Morning Herald?

Re:Olympic Games deja vu (1)

duk242 (1412949) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007902)

Correction: Sydney

I hadn't heard about these. (4, Interesting)

mirix (1649853) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007664)

Interesting. I presume there software involved here?
Any details on how the system works?

Wouldn't be the first time a bug killed someone, but he could have just dozed off too...

Re:I hadn't heard about these. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007700)

OR he could have been passing some hot chicks in scant outfits and thought, I need to go talk to them forgetting he was driving down the road.

Re:I hadn't heard about these. (5, Funny)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007758)

OR he could have been passing some hot chicks in scant outfits and thought, I need to go talk to them forgetting he was driving down the road.

OR....seeing the hot chicks, he thought of doing something else with that bionic arm of his on another part of his body and due to a glitch in the message queue for his arm, the arm immediately started doing what he wanted to do on his extremity - the hand made a fist and the arm started jerking up and down very rapidly on the steering wheel causing him to lose control of the vehicle.

Re:I hadn't heard about these. (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008024)

OR....seeing the hot chicks, he thought of doing something else with that bionic arm of his on another part of his body and due to a glitch in the message queue for his arm, the arm immediately started doing what he wanted to do on his extremity - the hand made a fist and the arm started jerking up and down very rapidly on the steering wheel causing him to lose control of the vehicle.

DAMN that's wrong...SO WRONG but I couldn't stop LMFAO.

Re:I hadn't heard about these. (3, Insightful)

udippel (562132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008476)

OR he could have been passing some hot chicks in scant outfits

Where do you live? It's late autumn in Austria. And fscking cold, if that's what you had in mind ... .

Re:I hadn't heard about these. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34008536)

Late autumn? The equinox was barely a month ago.

Re:I hadn't heard about these. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34008130)

Admittedly it could have been any number of things that caused the crash, some not involving the bionic arm at all, however who's bright idea was it to put this disabled man and his prototype thought controlled limbs in charge of a tonne and a half of metal and plastics travelling in excess of 100km/h.

Re:I hadn't heard about these. (2, Funny)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008576)

I think he was just looking at the ass of the hot girl jogging on the sidewalk next to him. The arms read his thoughts and turned toward what was on his mind.

Re:I hadn't heard about these. (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008682)

And it could be the arms, but not a "bug" as such. I don't think it's so easy that you just move your arms like you used to and the robot arms mimic it, you probably have to learn to control them. So he passed his driver's test, but that is usually not that stressful. Can you do emergency maneuvers under high stress? Ok, so many people can't even with two perfectly functioning arms but maybe he panicked and lost control of his arms. I mean most of us have a lifetime of muscle memory controlling our arms, even in a panic. In fact, as a matter of survival maybe especially when the adrenaline is pumping. Maybe he acted on the wrong instincts from back when he had real arms rather than controlling the robot arms, it doesn't take much of lapse to matter a lot.

His arms were probably just fitted for the quiet daily life of just getting around and doing day-to-day tasks. If he suspected or had noticed anything, I would not be surprised if he covered it up so he could keep driving just like far too many elderly do. I mean, did anyone really check? I would think the prosthetics company would be more than pleased with all the 99% he could do, not the 1% he couldn't. It sounded like he was given just a regular driving test, which wouldn't test it. I would like to think that this would have been caught somewhere, but maybe nobody did. After all, he was the first in the country so there wouldn't be any routines for it...

Re:I hadn't heard about these. (1)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008702)

Just 10 months later, Kandlbauer passed his driving test and was given a specially-adapted Subaru. He returned to work as a warehouse clerk with his former employer.

"Only in a Subaru"

Austrian Wildlife to Blame (5, Funny)

Hoarse Whisperer (604444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007690)

Recent updates to the story via the Slashdot tagging system suggest that he may have swerved to avoid a Kangaroo, a common cause of accidents in South Eastern Austria.

Re:Austrian Wildlife to Blame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007846)

Austria, not Australia! :)

Don't blame animals: they jump out of the way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007982)

It's those damned trees is what's to blame: they might be in the same spot for hundreds of years, residing like squatters on ancestral migration roads and paths.

Trees cause more damage than anything; that and square road measurements: who in this smooth and round world terminates a stretch of road into an abrupt stop sign and 45-degree turn? If we had more gradual and complementary roads then we'ld have better fuel efficiency and less wear on our vessels and rolling chassis and fewer distractions that we may finally text-message in peace knowing the roads hold no dangerous turns.

Re:Don't blame animals: they jump out of the way. (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008638)

That's right, the tree huggers killed him! Tragedies like this are yet another reason we need to listen to the Pavers(tm). One Asphalt , One People(tm)

THE CREED (tm) of the PAVERS (traditional version)

We believe in a completely Paved Earth.

            Earth is cursed with trees, shrubs, grass,
            and scurrying creatures. With every breath
            We act to right this terrible wrong.

We believe in The Plan (tm).

            The Plan (tm) is the final word; it brings us
            the knowledge of the twin pleasures:
            Speed and Convenience.

We believe food should be enjoyed.

            "Nutrition" is an aberration of human nature.
            The juicy Burger and hearty Beer are Our sacrament.

We believe in the Depletion of scarce natural resources.

            Some see the vessel as half full; others see it as
            half empty; We pour it out on the floor and laugh.

We believe in a sky roiling with Smog.

            The color blue should appear nowhere but the paint
            on Our Hypercars (tm).

Re:Austrian Wildlife to Blame (2, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007862)

Recent updates to the story via the Slashdot tagging system suggest that he may have swerved to avoid a Kangaroo, a common cause of accidents in South Eastern Austria.

What was that skip? Sonny's fallen off a cliff?!? Lead the way skip!

Re:Austrian Wildlife to Blame (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007914)

Perhaps he was trying to escape with his family over the Alps to Switzerland. We can only hope that the nuns removed the distributors from Herr Zeller's cars.
(I'm going to hell for making these lame jokes about the poor guy.)

Re:Austrian Wildlife to Blame (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008038)

I'm going to hell for making these lame jokes about the poor guy

At least you'll have lots of Slashdotters with you.

Doesn't at least a part of you want to know... (4, Funny)

oliverk (82803) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007694)

...if they can rebuild him?

Re:Doesn't at least a part of you want to know... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007726)

Don't you mean, rebuild him... again?

Re:Doesn't at least a part of you want to know... (2)

crazypip666 (930562) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007766)

I hear they can rebuild him better, faster, and stronger.

Re:Doesn't at least a part of you want to know... (3, Informative)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007836)

... but still dead.

Re:Doesn't at least a part of you want to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007986)

put a prosthetic brain in, he'll be good as new!

Re:Doesn't at least a part of you want to know... (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008178)

... but still dead.

Great, Austrian cyborg Zombies. What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Doesn't at least a part of you want to know... (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008492)

Ooh, I bet they could launch him out of a cannon!

Re:Doesn't at least a part of you want to know... (3, Insightful)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007972)

Apparently they don't have the technology.

Re:Doesn't at least a part of you want to know... (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008394)

Not until they release an update.

Never, EVER go with version 1 of anything.

Re:Doesn't at least a part of you want to know... (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008594)

...if they can rebuild him?

I saw that movie, it doesn't work out so well for the non-cyborg zombies.

HAL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007720)

Did he happen to name one of his arms HAL?

Someone WiFi'd Malware to his elbow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007760)

I'm sure that's what it was.

An interesting motto (4, Informative)

tftp (111690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007768)

his motto was: "Don't live for others, live for yourself!"

No further comment is necessary.

Re:An interesting motto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007860)

Good thing no other armless were injured. They ave a eck of a time. Can't be an easy thing to do well, make an arm...

Re:An interesting motto (1)

mfwitten (1906728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008190)

Given the context:

"I love driving. My licence has given me back my independence," he wrote, saying his motto was: "Don't live for others, live for yourself!"

I think the motto as printed is a mistranslation. Consider this variant:

"I love driving. My licence has given me back my independence," he wrote, saying his motto was: "Don't live through others, live through yourself!"

Re:An interesting motto (4, Interesting)

tftp (111690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008256)

I think the motto as printed is a mistranslation. Consider this variant: [...] "Don't live through others, live through yourself!"

I understand your reasons to say so, but here is the original [kleinezeitung.at], in German:

"Lebe nicht für andere, sondern lebe für dich!", war das Motto des gelernten Kfz-Mechanikers, der mit 17 Jahren auf einen Strommasten geklettert war und dabei beide Arme verloren hatte.

The original English translation seems to be reasonable, since für != durch. Native German speakers are welcome to correct me, if needed. My German is pretty basic.

Re:An interesting motto (1)

mfwitten (1906728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008272)

Maybe I'm not cynical enough. The Austrian article [kleinezeitung.at] says the same thing:

"Lebe nicht für andere, sondern lebe für dich!", war das Motto des gelernten Kfz-Mechanikers, der mit 17 Jahren auf einen Strommasten geklettert war und dabei beide Arme verloren hatte.

Re:An interesting motto (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008440)

It's a fine motto, and is less about being selfish, than about being yourself. He probably was referring to his own efforts to overcome being seen as a cripple by the armed masses.

Put shrimp on the barbie! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007808)

Kandlbauer crashed after swerving to avoid hitting a koala or possibly a strudel.

Died? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007812)

Can't rebuild him, don't have the technology.

Has anybody considered that.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007842)

...he could've hit a kangaroo (outside the person who tagged this "Australia") !?

sounds familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007926)

We can rebuild him, we have the technology...

(too soon?)

he died a pioneer (1, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007950)

we should all be so lucky, to die pioneering new frontiers

Re:he died a pioneer (1, Flamebait)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008044)

we should all be so lucky, to die pioneering new frontiers

He did no such thing. He died using an unproven technology as a single point of failure in a critical system. Windows sysadmins the world over do that day in and day out.

Re:he died a pioneer (1)

shougyin (1920460) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008078)

I didn't know Windows system admins were dying off all over the world because of this, but I wouldn't be surprised either....It all goes back to Microsoft somehow.

Re:he died a pioneer (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008690)

Yeh, I have a terrible time as a windows sysadmin, what with no server crashes in 7 years
supporting 250 clients, 0 downtime, uptimes of 3 years, only shutdown for new hardware.

It awful having nothing to do.

Firmware Upgrade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007978)

Never skip those on your bio-limbs!!!

Bigger Issue! (3, Funny)

shougyin (1920460) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008000)

This brings up a more alarming issue that I believe needs to be looked into before we begin walking around with cyborg parts attached. What if the machines have suicidal tendencies? I'm sure if I was attached to someone else and forced to do their bidding, then I wouldn't be too happy. Maybe his arm wasn't happy enough just being his arm! What if it dreamed of being a cell phone...and watching him talk blissfully on that beautiful piece of machinery just threw the arm over the edge!

Re:Bigger Issue! (1)

aphelion_rock (575206) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008366)

I wonder if the arm was equipped with a black box recorder so that can analyse if the arm contributed to the accident?

Re:Bigger Issue! (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008700)

* Dave Lister: Sometimes I think it's cruel giving machines a personality. My mate Petersen once brought a pair of shoes with artificial intelligence. Smart Shoes, they were called. It was a neat idea. No matter how blind drunk you were, they would always get you home. Then he got ratted one night in Oslo, and woke up the next morning in Burma. See, the shoes got bored just going from his local to the flat. They wanted to see the world, man, y'know? He had a helluva job getting rid of them. No matter who he sold them to, they'd show up again the next day! He tried to shut them out, but they just kicked the door down, y'know?

* Arnold Rimmer: Is this true?

  * Dave Lister: Yeah! Last thing he heard, they'd sort of, erm, robbed a car and drove it into a canal. They couldn't steer, y'see.

  * Arnold Rimmer: Really?!

* Dave Lister: Yeah. Petersen was really, really blown away by it. He went to see a priest. The priest told him, he said, it was alright, and all that, and the shoes were happy, and they'd gone to heaven. Y'see, it turns out shoes have soles.

Don't go half way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34008118)

If you are going to build essentially an Inspector Gadget you can't go half-assed and just stop at the the arms, you gotta go all the way. Imagine if he had a gadget copter as well, he could have flown away from the car before it crashed.

Try again! (0, Redundant)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008122)

"Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology."

Re:Try again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34008602)

Gosh, you must be old. Like me. Kids these days won't know these lines.

Re:Try again! (1)

CyprusBlue113 (1294000) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008712)

Actually, we just see they clearly didn't have the technology. Either way, the bionic woman was much easier to watch on tvland, at least she was hot.

Chich chich chichchichchich...... Because slow-mo means its faster!

I'm sure we'll know more... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34008204)

...when they recover his black box.

sci-fi science (1)

slothman32 (629113) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008210)

Oddly enough I was watching the show "sci-fi science" yesterday and they were showing a person will a similar bionic arm.

It wasn't the same person but it is erie (lake).

Was he an organ donor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34008238)

Can they re-use the arms?

The Austrian Winter killed him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34008342)

It has long been known that bionics fail in cold. It was Steve Austin's only weakness. They should check the heater on the car. It probably failed.

I can't believe the story did not mention this. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. I only hope they do better when the Soviet Venis Probe comes back to Earth.

hummm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34008494)

Dead batteries perhaps.

I guess you could say... (1)

pariah99 (1899388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008564)

I guess you could say that his arms had... (sunglasses) ...a mind of their own. YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
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