Two Pakistani engineers Anas Nazir and Ovais Qureshi have developed a prosthetic arm for people with special needs. The duo started working on the bio-robotics project during their academic studies.
“Bioniks was aimed at making a name for ourselves in the world of bio-robotics. Now we are working on bionic-based lower limbs and exoskeletons,” Awais told.
The project has facilitated more than 30 people. As per the details, the fingers and hands move in response to the signals transmitted through the brain. The prosthetic arm was developed with a cost of $2000 or 312,700 Rupees.
impressive technology!! This robotic hand was a great surprize for me in #Pakistan. He just thinks about moving his hand & it just moves!! What a combination of mechanics & artificial intelligence!! Hope this technology will be cheaper soon pic.twitter.com/HJw6JRSkmd
— German Embassy Islamabad (@GermanyinPAK) April 2, 2019
While elaborating the mechanism of prototype arm, Anas added, “We place sensors at locations in the body where the brain sends electric currents or signals to fingers, commanding them to move.”
To put it simply, once a brain communicates that it wants to form a fist, for example, the brainwaves are transmitted to the muscles connected to the prosthetic arm and the sensors can carry out the hand movement.
Inspired by “Iron Man” film, the company created a bright red arm with a light beam, to give a superhero feel to the prosthetic, in a bid to boost the child’s confidence.
The two engineers added that after completing their project of a robotic arm they are now focusing to develop robotic lower limbs and knee joints, a complex mechanical system in the body.
The prosthesis is the mechanism of replacing natural body parts like arms or legs with an artificial body part. The prosthesis is designed for both cosmetic and functional reasons. Prostheses can be for hip, elbow, ankle, finger joints, and knee.
Bionik launched two years ago, is Pakistan’s first biomedical company providing 3D-printed prosthetics.
Ovais Qureshi, one of the founders of the organisation asserted, “We started this project in 2015 with a normal mechanical arm and we began developing our own.”
“The brain generates wave signals, which moves to the muscles and we extract that signal from sensors which translates it into arm motions,” says Qureshi. “We designed our device and sensor and we use the data it generates. The AI [artificial intelligence] we use knows what sort of signal is for what action.”
The company also provide the free prosthetic arms to people who cannot afford it, particularly the labourers.
Meet Mohammad Mustafa, a Pakistani boy with a 'made in Pakistan' prosthetic arm. From being bullied by kids at school to finding new friends, his robotic arm has changed his life. Good work by Bioniks. pic.twitter.com/rgE3DEqagk
— Jajja (@SumairaJajja) December 14, 2017
The company also made headlines in Pakistan when it created the country’s first 3D- printed bionic arm for a five-year-old child. Inspired by “Iron Man” film, the company created a bright red arm with a light beam, to give a superhero feel to the prosthetic, in a bid to boost the child’s confidence.