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.

China Pictorial (English) - - Contents - Text by Mo Qian

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.

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