People, Companies & Technologies that inspire us and whom we will approach to be included in Upgrade Required

  • How Intel keeps Stephen Hawking talking

  • Intel’s Lama Nachman on going open-source with Stephen Hawking’s speech system

  • Music created only by the mind

  • Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim – A extreme future for man and machine

    Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim revels in the Hollywood spectacle of man and machine melded together to control massive giant robots.  It was like someone had opened our heads and filmed our childhood dreams in all their city stomping glory.  Pacific Rim is a testament to the ingenuity of Guillermo and his VFX artists who have created a magnificent futuristic interface between the mind of man and the technology that surrounds it.  We are very much hoping for an opportunity to discuss Guillermo’s inspiration and the science behind his extraordinary creations.

  • Emotiv

    emotivsliderEmotiv have created a series of unique electroencephalogram (EEG) headsets and software development kits that allows the electrical impulses, active all the time in our brains, to be used to control anything that a computer can.  Emotiv’s technology has already been put to the test, flying drones, operating robotic arms and controling household appliances purely by thought and facial expressions.  Upgrade Required will be using Emotiv’s technologies to aid Q in controlling his electric wheelchair and any robotics we add to his existing configuration.  We’ve contacted Emotiv and are hoping to convince them to join our cinematic adventure as more than just a leading edge technology vendor.

    Vist Emotiv

  • TEDTalks Emotiv’s Tan Le: A Headset that reads your brainwaves

  • Festo

    festosliderFesto’s Bionic Learning Network is a cooperation between Festo and a number of renowned universities, institutes and development companies.  They have been doing extraordinary work in bionics, learning from nature and adopting many unique and complex abilities honed by millions of years of biological evolution.  Festo’s robotic arms and flexigrip manipulators are exactly the kind of technologies we’d like to put to work for Q with Upgrade Required.  We have been in contact with Festo AG and are hoping to consult with them and showcase some of their beautiful and visionary research in our film.

    Visit Visit

  • Neurosensor controlled prosthetics

  • Grindhouse Wetware

    grindhouseslideGrindhouse Wetware are at the cutting edge of the DIY Bio movement. They are a dedicated group of  programmers, engineers, and enthusiasts working towards a common goal – augmenting humanity using safe, affordable, open source technology.   These pioneers are leading the charge for the human augmentation, something we believe will become commonplace in the future.  We are hoping to speak to Grindhouse Wetware and other Biohackers and citizen scientists creating the humans of the future independent labs and private basements around the world.

    Visit Grindhouse Wetware

  • Hugh Herr

    Hugh Herr is already proving that prosthetics can and will outperform the limbs that most of us were born with. After a climbing accident left him a double amputee, Hugh was doing what doctors had told him was impossible: climbing again. But this time he was climbing with specialized prostheses, prosthetics that he had designed and that he maintains allow him be a better climber than he was before his accident. Hugh Herr’s passion, perseverance and ingenuity is exactly the kind of subject matter that we want to include in Upgrade Required.

    Visit Hugh Herr at MIT Biomechatronics


  • Tim Cannon of Grindhouse Wetware talks DIY Bio at TEDx Rosslyn

  • Hugh Herr at TEDMED 2010

  • Kurz Gesagt – In a Nutshell

    Kurzgesagt (German for “in a nutshell”) is a Munich based design studio with a distinctive perspective on design and animation within the fields of education, science and commerce.  We were introduced to their work by JimTheEvo, who consulted on their exceptional, biology related, YouTube videos.  These artists do an amazing job of taking complex topics and turning them into entertaining, funny and beautiful educational animations. We are talking to Kurzgesagt about the possibility of putting their unique and stunning designs and expertise to work into Upgrade Required.


  • Neil Harbisson – I listen to color

    Neil Harbisson was born with a rare condition that means that he is completely color blind.  In his twenties, he began developing technologies that, thanks to a device attached to his head, turns colors into audible frequencies.  Instead of a grayscale world, Neil now “sees” in symphonies of color.  These are the types of DIY Bio human augmentation that we will be exploring with Upgrade Required.

    Neil was the subject of a documentary about his life as a cyborg that you can see here: En un xip Multicolor


  • World Cup 2014 First Kick – The Walk Again Project

    The First kick at the 2014 World Cup was performed by Juliano Pinto, a paraplegic man in a mind controlled exoskeleton.  The suit was created by a collaboration between various universities including Duke University in the U.S., the Technical University of Munich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne among others.

  • The Eyewriter

    Q is no longer able to draw, something he used to enjoy very much. This project is a great example of what can be done with cheap, existing, open source technology and a dedicated group of hackers and artists intent on overcoming their friend’s disability.

    Legendary LA graffiti writer, publisher and activist, TEMPTONE was diagnosed with ALS in 2003, a disease which has left him almost completely physically paralyzed… except for his eyes. This international team is working together to create a low-cost, open source eye-tracking system that will allow ALS patients to draw using just their eyes. Their long-term goal is to create a professional/social network of software developers, hardware hackers, urban projection artists and ALS patients from around the world who are using local materials and open source research to creatively connect and make eye art.

    The team:
    The core development teams consists of members of Free Art and Technology (FAT), OpenFrameworks and the Graffiti Resarch Lab: Tempt1, Evan Roth, Chris Sugrue, Zach Lieberman,Theo Watson and James Powderly.

  • Creating new senses for humans

    “Our experience of reality is constrained by our biology” says neuroscientist David Eagleman.  And he wants to change that.  This TED Talk is a fascinating look at how experiments with non-invasive technologies have returned lost senses, like hearing or sight, and opened the door (thanks to the flexible processing power by our amazing brains) to potentially adding a myriad of new, technologically enhanced, senses as well.

    For more on on David Eagleman and his work check out

  • Body Integrated Programmable Joints Interface

  • Synaptive – Surgical Robotics

  • Autonomous Space Robotics Lab at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies

  • 3D Printed Hand Gives 10-yr-old Boy New Powers Simplify3D