Zorpia Robot: China’s Bionic Helping Hands
Bionic hands independently developed by Zorpia Robot offer solid performance at a reasonable price, which makes them attractive to average families.
In 2015, bionic hands independently developed by Zorpia Robot were released. With the help of the myoelectric prosthetic hands, people with upper limb disabilities were able to perform motions like gripping, pinching and holding an object.
Established in 2014, Zorpia Robot is the first Chinese robotics company focused on developing robotic arms. With the mission of “making robots friends of mankind,” the company has focused on producing high-performance and reasonably priced bionic hands in China since its inception. The company has independently completed the structural design of prosthetic bionic hands, broken through a technological monopoly dominated by foreign companies, and produced products that can rival international competitors. After realizing mass production of its bionic hands, the company has continued to research and develop robots for use in other fields including industrial engineering, the service industry, healthcare and agriculture.
Wang Gang, doctoral supervisor at the School of Mechanical Engineering of Tianjin University and co-founder of Zorpia Robot, explained the working principle of bionic hands in detail. A bionic hand is an externally powered prosthesis often controlled by myoelectric signals, meaning it uses muscle signals in the patient’s residual limb
to move the device. Electrodes are placed on the user’s bare skin above pre-selected muscle sites. When a user contracts these muscles, the electrodes pick up subtle changes in the electrical patterns and send these signals to a microprocessor which instructs the bionic hand to react and perform action. Serving people with limb disabilities, bionic hands should be able to learn new motions and soak up training.
Yang Yiyong is the vice head of the School of Engineering and d Technology of China University of Geosciences. “Human upper limb b joints and bones have at least 27 degrees of freedom,” he explains. “Timely and smart operation is extremely important for the design gn and control of bionic hands.”
Zorpia Robot is currently researching and developing its second- generation bionic hands which are able to achieve eight degrees of freedom instead of the e previous five. The bionic hands can grasp or hold an object with five fingers, perform adduction and abduction, and close and open. en. One finger can work with the other her fingers to grip or grasp an object and bend. And each finger can make independent motions. “Customers rs can use our products to type, make ke phone calls, put on clothes, open the door, hold a kettle or take out t a name card,” says Qiu Yufeng, founder of Zorpia Robot. “Our second- generation bionic hands are capable of doing many things. We e are now developing bionic gloves which can be connected to our bionic hands to provide power and nd data sharing. And the gloves can also improve the appearance of the he bionic hands.”
Zorpia Robot’s competitiveness ss is primarily driven by the company’s ny’s strong and professional R& D and d management team. A single bionic ic hand produced by Zorpia Robot is currently priced at around 10,000 0 yuan ( US$1,440), much cheaper than its international rivals. The reasonable price makes the product more affordable for more people ple with disabilities. The company is also working on a bionic hand platatform. According to Qiu Yufeng, this platform is designed to provide de electrical and mechanical interfaces ces which can be accessed by sensors and other devices. Professionals
“Robots can become our best friends and indispensable parts of our lives,” says Qiu Yufeng, founder of Zorpia Robot.