High-tech assistive devices have made their appearance at the Hangzhou Asian Para Games, reflecting the deep care for people with disabilities and showcasing China’s development of intelligent technologies to assist people with disabilities.
Using a high-tech prosthetic arm, Chinese para-swimmer Xu Jialing lit the main cauldron at the opening ceremony of the 4th Asian Para Games. Xu said that the prosthetic arm has given her new possibilities to do more things in her life.
Before the opening ceremony, Hangzhou unveiled 18 demonstration sites displaying achievements in the field of disability services, including technology, education and sports. One of these sites is the Yuhang District High-Tech Assistive Devices Exhibition and Experience Center, which showcases high-tech devices developed by more than 10 companies in the district, serving as an important window for Yuhang’s achievements in the development of disability services.
Staff at the center explained that the prosthetic arm on display there moves according to the user’s intentions by collecting and processing electromyographic and neural signals generated by body movements. The device simulates the neuro-muscular control pathway of the human hand, enabling the user to produce common hand gestures necessary for daily life.
The Yuhang District High-Tech Assistive Devices Exhibition and Experience Center also showcases a selection of exoskeleton robots that were used during the torch relay for this year’s Asian Para Games. Exoskeleton robots are intelligent mechanical devices worn externally by users. By integrating the sensory systems, intelligent processing centers and control-execution systems of the machine with the human body’s organs of sensation, thinking and movement, they assist people with disabilities in walking more smoothly and steadily.
The center also displays a range of products designed to help visually impaired individuals navigate obstacles, such as cochlear implants, visual aids and smart glasses.
Additionally, the center features a 3D digital avatar called “Xiao Mo,” developed by AliResearch, the research arm of Alibaba Group, to address communication issues for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Xiao Mo is able to translate speech into sign language, and also convert sign language into speech or text. During the event, Xiao Mo provided sign language translation for hard-of-hearing spectators, allowing them to enjoy the competitions.
China’s development of technology has brought a whole new experience for people with disabilities. In the future, with continued advancements in materials, technology, artificial intelligence and other fields, it is believed that China will bring more help and support to people with disabilities.