New Zealand, Germany to Cooperate in Bionic Arm Project

Scientists from New Zealand and Germany are to collaborate in developing a bionic joint they say will reduce workplace injuries and help people disabled by strokes.

The exoskeleton a machine fitting over the outside of the body will integrate the latest wearable sensor technology from the Bioengineering Institute of New Zealand’s University of Auckland with mechanisms that enable movement from the Stuttgart- based Fraunhofer research organization.

The device would sense and assist movements of the arm and could be used to help lift heavy objects or perform repetitive tasks.

This could help to reduce the risk of injury for people doing a lot of manual lifting, Professor Peter Hunter, of the University of Auckland, said in a statement.

Stroke sufferers who needed help to move in a smooth and coordinated manner could also use the device to  help with rehabilitation.

“We believe the potential benefits of exoskeleton motion technology for people affected by strokes and other injuries that inhibit mobility will be substantial,” said Hunter.

New Zealand Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce welcomed the announcement, saying science was the jewel in the crown of the bilateral relationship between New Zealand and Germany.

“Research cooperation between New Zealand and Germany is underpinned by the Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement which was signed back in 1977,” Joyce said in a statement.

“To compete in a global landscape, we need to support new ideas and new ways of thinking, and work collaboratively across a range of disciplines to find solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

Original story on The Global Times, 14 November 2014

Image from Thinkstock

Tags: Bionic Arm  Fraunhofer  Global Times (The)  Global Times China  Peter Hunter (Dr)  Science and Innovation  Steven Joyce  University of Auckland  

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