Buckeye Beat

We start in western Ohio, where residents saw some wild weather earlier in the week. On Monday, the national weather service confirmed an EF1 tornado touched down in Phillipsburg, Ohio. Cameras captured the tornado as it barreled through the small village in Montgomery County, northwest of Dayton.

With a wind speed of approximately 105 miles-per-hour, the tornado was ranked as a one on the Enhanced Fujita scale, which is used to rank tornado strength in the United States. The scale grades tornados from zero to five based on wind speeds.

Several barns and homes were damaged in the area, but no injuries were reported.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared worldwide technology giant Parker Hannifin of Cleveland to market and sell its exoskeleton suit - both for clinical and personal use.

Called Indego, the robotic exoskeleton allows users to stand, or walk. It straps in tightly around the torso and rigid supports are strapped to the legs and extend from the hip to the knee and from the knee to the foot. The hip and knee joints are driven by computer-controlled electric motors powered by advanced batteries. Patients use the powered apparatus with walkers or forearm crutches to maintain their balance.

Parker Hannifin says the exoskeleton represents a major milestone for people who suffer spinal cord injuries, and plans to launch the device in the u-s in the coming months.

And finally, Ohio's capital city is a finalist in a competition looking for the most creative and technology-advanced cities in the United States.

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently named Columbus one of seven finalists in the department's "Smart Cities Challenge." The national competition aims to find a city to fully integrate innovative technologies such as self-driving cars, connected vehicles, and smart sensors into its transportation network.

The agency expects to announce a winner in June. The first place city will receive up to 40 million dollars in federal funds to help that city define what it means to be a "smart city' and help transform the future of transportation.

Instructional Links

Website Article: U.S. Department of Transportation, U. S. Secretary Fox Announces Seven Finalist Cities

https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/us-transportation-secretary...

Website: Parker Hannifan Indego

http://www.indego.com/indego/en/home

Website Article: Berkeley Robotics & Human Engineering Laboratory, Berkeley Lower Extremity Exoskeleton (BLEEX)

http://bleex.me.berkeley.edu/research/exoskeleton/bleex/

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