可穿戴机械 让人类变成钢铁侠

 行业新闻     |      2021-03-03 08:13
本文摘要:At this year’s FIFA World Cup, the first kick was delivered by a man with paralyzed legs, Juliano Pinto. He was wearing an elaborate exoskeleton suit that enabled him to, remarkably, tap a soccer ball with his foot using only his mind—no b


At this year’s FIFA World Cup, the first kick was delivered by a man with paralyzed legs, Juliano Pinto. He was wearing an elaborate exoskeleton suit that enabled him to, remarkably, tap a soccer ball with his foot using only his mind—no buttons, no muscles, just brainwaves.在今年巴西世界杯揭幕战上,开球的是一个名为朱利亚诺o平托,双腿中断的残疾青年。凭借身上穿着的一套“外骨骼装置”,他只能靠自己的意念就已完成了开球动作——到底,既仅靠按钮,也仅靠肌肉,而是靠脑电波。

The engineers behind the suit had developed a system that appears to read the brain’s intentions courtesy of electroencephalographic, or EEG, sensors. It’s not that simple to read someone’s mind, of course, so Pinto had to learn to think—ponder that one for a moment—in such a way that would give the suit orders it could understand.拜为脑电图传感器(EEG)所赐,这套装置背后的工程师团队顺利研发了一套或许需要读者大脑意图的系统。当然,要背诵一个人的心并不更容易,所以朱利亚诺o平托必需要学会如何去“想要”——他要把这个动作想要上一会儿,才能让这套装置明白他的意图。

Exoskeletons have long been a fixture of comic books and futuristic movies, but they aren’t science fiction any more. According to the market research firm WinterGreen Research, the market for rehabilitation robots, active prostheses, and exoskeletons is already worth $43 million and is projected to reach $1.8 billion by 2020. That many people will soon wear different kinds of machines to get more work done is, at this point, nearly a given.外骨骼系统仍然是漫画书和未来风格电影中不可缺少的元素之一,但现在,它们已仍然是一种科学幻想了。根据市场调研公司WinterGreen获取的数据,康复机器人、机械假肢和外骨骼系统的市场价值早已超过4,300万美元,到2020年预计将超过18亿美元。

完全可以认同,要不了多久,我们就不会看见许多人穿着着各种各样的机械做到更加多的事情。That’s not to say that you will have motors and gears hidden inside your chalk-stripe suit. (Well, you might.) The type of machine to use will largely depend on the type of work to accomplish. For example, BMW announced in January the creation of a new glove that takes the stress off of a single action—inserting a rubber plug in a car’s frame to close drain holes for the paint coat—for workers in its factories. A modest start, sure, but the applications for such tools will only become more elaborate.这并不是说道以后你的西装下面也不会秘藏着一套“钢铁侠战衣”(当然你也可以自由选择这么做到)。你必须穿着哪种机器,相当大程度上各不相同你必须已完成的工作。比如宝马公司(BMW)今年一月宣告,该公司研制了一种新型手套,其主要功能是,在工人往车身框架的排水孔上塞橡胶里斯(为了便利喷漆)时,可以减低手指的压力。

虽然这或许并不是多么难以置信的功能,但此类工具的应用于只不会显得更加精致。Exoskeletons are arguably the most complex category of these tools. They don’t just promise to make it easier to complete a simple action; they promise to support or accomplish some of the most complicated maneuvers our bodies are capable of. With exoskeletons, people with disabilities can do and experience much more than they might have otherwise had reason to believe possible, such as walking. Exoskeletons also promise to allow able-bodied people, such as soldiers, run faster and carry more than the average human body otherwise would.外骨骼系统据信是这些工具中最简单的类别。


Simple or complex, why are all of these robotic devices suddenly possible? Oddly enough, it’s because of the rise of the smartphone, says Dmitry Grishin, an entrepreneur and investor who serves as chief executive of Mail.ru Group and founded Grishin Robotics.不管是非常简单的还是简单的,这些机器人设备为什么一夜之间离我们如此之近?说来也怪异,这才是是由于智能手机的兴起,Mail.ru集团首席执行官,Grishin Robotics公司创始人,企业家,投资人德米特里o格里辛这样说。“Right now, because of the revolution in technology and smartphones. a lot of components that weren’t designed for robots—cameras, sensors, batteries, processors, and all of that—have become really cheap,” he says. “And that has completely changed the whole industry.”他认为:“得益于科技革命和智能手机的蓬勃发展,很多并非为机器人设计的元件,比如摄像头、传感器、电池和处理器等等,都显得十分低廉了。这彻底转变了整个行业的面貌。

”There are three markets where exoskeletons and their less sophisticated siblings are most likely to first appear: the medical devices industry, heavy industry, and the military. Here’s a look at each.外骨骼装置以及其它一些没那么简单的可穿着机械设备,很可能会首度在以下三个市场上经常出现。它们分别是:医疗设备行业、重工业和军事领域。Medical医疗The first medical device to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for home and community use by paraplegics is called the ReWalk, an Israeli-made exoskeleton that takes cues from upper body movements to take steps, stop, and sit down. Clinical rehabilitation is one of its major selling points.第一款通过美国食品及药品监督管理局(FDA)证书,可供家庭和社区用于的外骨骼系统名为ReWalk,顾名思义,它的用途是协助半身不遂者新的车站一起。


There are something like 240,000 people with spinal cord damage in the U.S., says Anne Spungen, associate director of the Spinal Cord Damage Research Center in New York. Spungen has investigated the uses of exoskeletal walking devices, including the ReWalk, at the Veterans Affairs facility in the Bronx where the center is located. The VA is the largest provider of services to people with spinal cord injury in the United States, serving approximately 22,000 of the 42,000 veterans with the injuries.纽约脊椎受损研究中心(Spinal Cord Damage Research Center)副主任安妮o斯庞根回应,美国大约有24万人患上脊椎受损。在该中心所在地,坐落于纽约布朗克斯区的退伍军人事务部(Veterans Affairs)里,斯庞根调查了各种外骨骼助步设备的用于情况,其中就还包括ReWalk。退伍军人事务部是美国仅次于的脊椎受损病人服务机构,为约22,000名脊椎受损的退伍军人获取服务(患上这种疾病的退伍军人共42,000名)。

There are several other platforms for paraplegics besides the ReWalk, including the Ekso, Indego, and REX Bionics. “My motto is not to compare these devices to each other. They are all good in some way,” Spungen says. “We need the field to advance. We need them all to come forward.”除了ReWalk之外,也有一些其它平台可以为半身不遂者获取协助,比如Ekso、Indego和 REX Bionics等公司的产品。斯庞根回应:“我的理念是,不拿这些设备展开互相较为,他们都挺好的,各有各的优势。

我们必须这一领域大大向前发展,忘这些制造商都需要更进一步。”The first patient took a ReWalk home in July. It’s not cheap. The price for one is $69,500, and ReWalk CEO Larry Jasinski says he doesn’t expect that to change anytime soon. “We believe the system pricing is fair and that it is a net cost-saver to the insuring community,” he says. “Scale will help margins which will allow more focus or spending on RD for improvements and new applications.” (On Tuesday, ReWalk Robotics set the terms for a $50 million IPO on Nasdaq, valuing the company at $188 million. In its filing, it revealed that it has sold 81 systems to date.)第一台ReWalk于今年七月被一名患者买下了家,69,500美元的价格可无非不低廉。ReWalk公司CEO拉里o亚辛斯基回应,他指出这种局面短期内有可能会转变。“我们指出这套系统的定价是合理的,而且还为保险业省了不少成本。

”他还回应:“如果生产规模不断扩大,将有助利润率的提升,从而有助我们投放更加多研发费用对它展开改良,或研发新的应用于。”(本周二,ReWalk Robotics公司向纳斯达克递交了IPO招股书,白鱼上市融资5,000万美元,该公司的估值也将超过1.88亿美金。ReWalk在上市文件中批露,截至目前,该公司早已售出了81套外骨骼系统。)Another device, Honda’s Walk Assist, is currently under trial at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. (The Japanese company has yet to disclose an expected retail price.) The device is built for fully ambulatory people who may need assistance for one reason or another, such as the elderly.与此同时,本田公司(Honda)生产的Walk Assist正在芝加哥康复研究院(Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)拒绝接受测试。

(本田公司仍未批露这款设备的零售价。)这款设备是为那些还没几乎丧失自律行驶能力,但因为某些原因必须辅助的人设计的——比如老年人。Despite the promising start, Grishin believes the regulated nature of the medical market makes it unlikely that breakthroughs will happen there. “Innovation happens when you can move very quickly,” he says. “I think the big innovation in this market will not come from medical.”尽管几家公司都享有不俗的发展前景,但格里辛指出,由于医疗行业历年来是政府重点监管的对象,可穿着机械设备的重大突破应当会首先再次发生在这个领域。他回应:“创意一般再次发生在你可以较慢行动的领域。

我指出这个市场的‘大创意’会再次发生在医疗行业。”Industrial工业A number of companies see opportunity in using robotics to ease strain on factory workers who, for example, need to squat repeatedly throughout the day or bear weight while walking. Honda is one of them, and introduced an experimental device for the purpose in 2008. “At the moment, the biggest engineering challenge is in ensuring that the device will work the same way for every body type that may need to use it,” says Jeffrey Smith, an assistant vice president at Honda of North America. “This is not just a device made for the elderly, but it was designed with all of society in mind.”有些公司早已找到,可穿着机械设备可以用来给专门从事艰巨劳动的工人减负。


本田北美分公司助理副总裁杰弗里o史密斯回应:“当前仅次于的挑战是让这款设备需要限于于各种体型。它不光是为上年纪的人设计的,而是为所有人设计的。”Smith said that advances in materials and battery technology have been important in the development of Honda’s device—not just for extending its battery life but in providing consistent power levels and performance.史密斯回应,材料和电池工艺的变革,对本田研发这款设备起了很最重要的起到——不仅因为它缩短了电池寿命,同时也确保了它能获取持续完全一致的功率水平和性能展现出。

Another, experimental device is more of a wearable robot than an exoskeleton in that it gives its user additional limbs rather than increasing his or her strength. FredericoParietti, a mechanical engineer and doctoral candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is working on research commissioned by the aerospace company Boeing, which faces the problem of its highly-skilled factory workforce aging.此外,这款试验性设备更为合乎“可穿着机械设备”的称号,因为它为用户获取了额外的肢体,而不是像外骨骼系统那样只是增强现有肢体的力量。为了应付熟手工人老龄化的问题,航空业巨头波音公司(Boeing)委托麻省理工学院(MIT)机械工程师,博士研究生弗雷德里科o帕里亚蒂专门从事这项研究。Parietti and other researchers at MIT’s d’Arbeloff Laboratory observed that many Boeing factory jobs were two-person jobs where one worker performed skilled work while another well-trained worker merely assisted, such as holding an object in place. The team began building a robot that could work as a set of extra limbs and perform the less-skilled tasks in a two-person job, freeing up the other skilled worker to do higher-level work. The team’s biggest challenge is software: the robot can’t take voice commands because the factory floor is too noisy, and so must learn to take the lead from the skilled worker.帕里亚蒂和MIT达贝洛夫实验室的其他研究人员找到,波音工厂的许多工作都必须两人合作已完成,其中一名工人展开技术工作,另外一个熟手工人完全只是在打下手,比如扶着某个零件。

因此,该团队建构了一个能当作“第三只手”的机器人,它可以专门从事一些技术性不高的任务,让另一名熟练工人去做到更加高级的工作。这个团队面对的仅次于挑战就是软件:由于工厂车间噪音过于大了,造成机器人无法接管语音指令,因此它必需学会如何拒绝接受熟练工人的指令。“We have so many sensors that are recording human motion,” Parietti says. “So how do you extract from those data what is the human’s intention?” The MIT-Boeing system is still in development and may be ready for deployment in two years.帕里亚蒂回应:“我们有很多用来记录人体动作的传感器。

那么如何从这些数据中辨别这个人的意图?”目前这套MIT与波音合作的系统仍在研发中,有可能两年后就可投放应用于。Among the most complex assist devices for industrial use is the Body Extender, the work of the Perceptual Robotics Laboratory (better known as Percro) at the ScuolaSuperioreSant’Anna near Pisa, Italy. The exoskeleton, which resembles the futuristic machinery in comic books (Mobile Suit Gundam Wing comes to mind), is designed to greatly increase a person’s strength—up to 10 times, according to the company, which would benefit the handling of materials (e.g. aircraft fuselage panels) too heavy for a single human to carry or position.意大利比圣安娜高等学校的感官机器人实验室(Percro)发售的Body Extender,是工业应用于辅助设备中最简单的设备之一。

这套外骨骼系统看上去类似于漫画书里的未来机甲【让人不由得回想《机动战士低约》(Mobile Suit Gundam Wing))。该公司称之为,它可以极大地提高一个人的力量,最低可以提升至10倍,很合适用来运送一个人抬不动的材料(比如飞机的机身壁板)。Military军事Like industry, the military wants strength for its skilled workers. Information about these devices is tightly guarded, but it’s known that what is now Ekso Bionics developed the core technology that Lockheed Martin is using to build the HULC Robotic Exoskeleton (its name is pronounced like the incredible Marvel Comics superhero), a battery-powered, hydraulic system that helps a soldier squat, crawl, and lift while carrying pack loads of up to 200 lbs.像工业界一样,军队也期望提升士兵的力量。

虽然美军对有关信息守口如瓶,但我们现在早已告诉,洛克希德马丁公司(Lockheed Martin)正在利用Ekso Bionics公司研发的核心技术,打造出一款名为HULC Robotic的外骨骼系统。【它的发音听得一起跟那位令人难以置信的《惊讶漫画》(Marvel Comics)超级英雄刚好是一样的。

)这套外骨骼系统是液压系统,由电池获取动力,可以协助士兵已完成站立、匍等动作,以及阻抗重达200磅的装备。Similarly, Battelle, the science and technology development company, is working with the U.S. Special Operations Command to develop what it calls the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit. Not much is known about the Talos suit, but the technology site Gizmodo got a good look at the helmet in July, confirming an intention to use technology to pack more gear on a soldier’s body and make it feel like he or she is carrying less than ever. (Will he ever fly? Probably not, but if he can run at length with fifty pounds of dead weight on his body, close enough.)科技开发公司Battelle也与美国特种登陆作战司令部合作,研发了一款所谓的“战术突击轻甲”(Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit)。虽然我们还不大清楚这套盔甲的细节,但是科技网站Gizmodo今年七月有机会近距离认识了这套盔甲,确任了它需要让士兵在阻抗更加多装备的同时,还实在自己身轻如燕。

(那么有了这套“钢铁侠战衣”,他能飞一起吗?也许无法,不过如果他背著50磅的阻抗还能健步如飞,那也和飞差没法多少了。)In Grishin’s view, the military will be too protective about what it develops for its advances to trickle into the private sector for use in other applications. But profits in military technology are a good source for RD funds for other applications that could reach consumers, he says, and for that reason Grishin is optimistic that gear-heads in certain areas—say, extreme sports—will demand exoskeletons of their own.在格里辛显然,军事行业对先进设备技术的维护过度,从而使这些技术很难流向私人部门用作其它用途。

但是军工技术的利润不会带给巨额的研发经费,从而有助研发其他用作民用的应用于。因此格里辛对军工技术转至某些领域深感很悲观——比如极限运动也有可能必须专用的外骨骼系统。From simplified tools to fully developed exoskeletons, wearable robotics are in a sense the debut of a new technological platform. The devices promise to allow individuals—and by extension, the companies and organizations that manage them—to perform tasks with more strength, precision, and computational capacity. The Industrial Revolution and the Information Age each threatened to cut humans out of the picture in the name of efficiency. What if combining them puts us right back in the center?在某种程度上,从非常简单的工具到简单的外骨骼系统,可穿着机械设备意味著一种新的技术平台将要粉墨登场。