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The first robot exoskeleton in China, named AIDER, has been officially unveiled in Chengdu, Sichuan province, making China the fourth country in the world to develop the cutting-edge technology.
AIDER, which some compares to the fictional Ironman, was developed by the Center of Robotics at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China. The technology took six years of hard work and technical innovation to master.
AIDER functions through the use of dozens of censors, which detect a user's physical intentions. The censors then send electronic signals to the control unit, prompting various components to work together to drive the joint parts and help the user move freely.
According to Lin Xichuan, one of the developers, this wearable exoskeleton robot combines human intelligence with physical strength. It is an important breakthrough for many people who require assistance with walking and rehabilitation. Compared with traditional rehabilitation equipment, AIDER enables patients to walk relatively freely. It also facilitates blood circulation to the legs and prevents muscle atrophy. It can even help patients recover their biological memories of walking.
Cheng Hong, executive director of the Center of Robotics, said that the robot exoskeletoncan be used in military and sporting applications, as it can help users carry heavy objects. Using the robot exoskeleton, a single soldier can carry items as heavy as 90 kilograms.
At present, AIDER has begun low-volume production. Preliminary clinical trials have beenconducted on a group of physically disabled people.