All Mark Pollock Blogs

More of an explorer than ever before

In preparation for the South Pole Race I learnt a lot about Shackleton, Scott and Amundsen, the polar explorers who carved those first trails into the ice in Antarctica. Their stories inspired and excited me, but I never felt like an explorer during the race. They...

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Get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton

“For scientific discovery give me Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel give me Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.” Sir Raymond Priestly, Antarctic Explorer and Geologist. For the first two...

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Exploring the frontiers of recovery from Spinal Cord Injury

In 2010 a fall from a second story window nearly killed me. I broke my back and the damage to my spinal cord left me paralysed from the waist down. From the moment I hit the ground, I joined a global community of people that according to the experts, have no hope of...

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A year in robotic legs – starting the analysis

This time last year I took my first few faltering steps in a revolutionary new set of robotic legs from ekso bionics. I wrote a blog the day after that first experience and said: "I was scared. Not of the walking or chances of falling. Rather I was scared that my...

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A healthy disregard for the impossible

It's 4 am. I've been woken by words and images turning like a storm in my mind. Despite emerging from different sources they all map the same path; they all eventually point to the same place: "...don't respect the gap between reality and fantasy...", "...the wound is...

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Mark addresses Graduates At Queens University Belfast

As the recipient of a Queens University honorary doctorate for his services to the community, Mark spoke to the School Of Biomedical Sciences and Nursing and Midwifery about being brave, different and ambitious as they begin their careers. Norma Sinte, director of...

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Your Ambition Creates The Future

750 people gathered in Queens University. Half of them were there to receive their degrees and half were there in proud support. Queens asked me to speak to the graduating class of the School of Biomedical Sciences, Nursing and Midwifery prior to...

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A Healthy Disregard For The Impossible At Wired 2012

During Wired Magazine’s 2012 conference in London, Mark spoke about the impact of his catastrophic spinal cord injury and the scientists and technologists that he is working with to challenge the conventional wisdom that recovery is impossible. ...

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A Growing Desire For Adventure

No traffic, no meetings and no rush. It is a place where the wild rainy weather we are having is described as a 'soft day'. There is time out here. Time to think. And it seems, time to get excited about life's incredible possibilities. Since my accident, and the...

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External Robotics & Internal Biology

I stood, I walked and I did it in a robotic exoskeleton. This is no miracle and it is not the end of the story. But it is the first iteration of a device that some day very soon might offer an alternative to a wheelchair. My experience is that Ekso can’t go up stairs...

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