By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Technology
After losing his arms in a bomb explosion, Sun Jifa pieced together a pair of functioning limbs using scrap metal.
You know that famous saying "Necessity is the mother of invention." Well, you won't find a truer example of this than in the case of a Chinese farmer named Sun Jifa.
The 51-year-old resident of Guanmashan in northern China had to come up with something after losing his arms when a bomb used for blast fishing accidently exploded. Unfortunately, he couldn't afford replacement prosthetics that would allow him to tend to the farm and support his family. So he did what any Chinese farmer in his situation would do. He built his own set of bionic arms.
After eight years of tinkering, Jifa was finally able to weld and piece together a pair of steel arms in which the hands can do a sufficient job of gripping and holding onto objects. The mechanics of how this works involves an intricate system of wired and pulleys, according to The Daily Mail.
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The only complication, he says, is that the metal is not only heavy, but they can also get extremely hot or cold depending on the weather, making them uncomfortable to wear for an extended length of time.
Despite the drawbacks, the raw materials are cheap and can be crafted with simple tools. Because of this, Jifa plans to develop similar bionic prosthetics for the poor and disabled.
'I made this from scrap metal for virtually nothing. There is no need to pay hospitals a fortune,' he said.
I know it sounds like a plot from a Sci-Fi movie. But since Jifa's extrordinary story surfaced through international news outlets, he's also appeared on talk shows to discuss his invention. What I'm curious about is that without a set of working arms, how was he able to build the replacements? Perhaps he gives an answer during the on-camera interview. Too bad I don't understand Mandarin.
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Aug 21, 2012
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Remarkable that he managed to make the hand by himself! It's a great feat! Should it be "mechanical" rather than "Bionic"? I saw differing definitions on the term "bionic" "having particular physiological functions augmented or replaced by electronic or electromechanical components" wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn It seems that the hand is mechanical with no electronic parts. Not very sure though. It seems that Merriam Webster has 2 definitions: From Merriam-Webster: 1 : of or relating to bionics 2 a : having normal biological capability or performance enhanced by or as if by electronic or electromechanical devices b : comprising or made up of artificial body parts that enhance or substitute for a natural biological capability Or the keyword is natural biological capability? Let me know which is correct...