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New Zealand, Germany to cooperate in bionic arm project.

WELLINGTON (CyHAN)- It was once the stuff of science fiction, but scientists from New Zealand and Germany are to jointly develop a bionic joint that 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.

A memorandum of understanding on the project was announced by visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday.

The device would sense and assist movements of the arm and could be used to help lift heavy objects or perform repetitive tasks, which could help to reduce the risk of injury for people doing a lot of manual lifting, Professor 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 and it would improve their motion patterns and 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." (Cihan/Xinhua)


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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Nov 14, 2014
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