A Chinese farmer who lost both his hands in a freak accident has turned his misfortune into a family business by building his own pair of bionic arms.
Sun Jifa, from China’s northern Jilin province, lost both his hands when a fishing explosive went off prematurely in his home nine years ago.
Unable to afford expensive prosthetic arms at local hospitals, Sun bought a low-grade pair which proved near-useless for routine farm work and caring for his wife and three daughters.
Eager to get his hands back, Sun spent the next eight years crafting his own steel bionic pair from scratch with little direction but his own intuition.
The results have changed his life.
[Sun Jifa, Creator of Bionic Arms]
“It transfers power from the natural movement of my elbow into the finger, allowing it to grab and hold. This is the left hand. For the other hand, rotating the two bones that I have left in this arm allows my right hand to open and close like this.”
Sun’s hands made him a practical celebrity in his hometown and earned him national media attention.
It wasn’t long before other amputees began requesting pairs of their own.
Fellow farmer Li Yanzhong, who lost his own left hand years ago, came to Sun after he found the prosthetic replacement he bought was of little use.
[Li Yanzhong, Fellow Amputee and Customer]
“Mr. Sun’s artificial hand feels good to me. When I go home, it will help me a lot with operating work machinery. Normal prosthetic arms only have a superficial function when operating machinery. They don’t have much strength. But this artificial hand will be very useful in using machines and doing other work.”
Sun said that he has already sold around one thousand steel limbs for about 3000 yuan ($490 USD) each, which he says is only a tenth the price of what most hospitals charge for higher-quality prosthetics.
Sun’s hands aren’t just able to handle the complexities of his farm labour and shop work – they can also perform routine tasks ranging from picking up a spoon to lighting a cigarette.
[Sun Jifa, Creator of Bionic Arms]
“By using these hands, I can help the family with chores. I can do some farm work, I’m not useless. I really feel a weight has lifted. I feel I’m not a freeloader. I can be useful.”
Despite the big business, for Sun, now aged 53, perhaps the biggest benefit of his new hands is that they have brought back his confidence.
Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=1a7_1369470293#0t1MkAUahx1iwL8I.99
A student has designed an artificial limb with a changeable cover to reflect the wearer’s mood, inspired by a friend who lost a leg. Nottingham Trent University undergraduate Jonathan Bradshaw wanted to provide amputees with an affordable way of reflecting their sense of style. It followed research in which he found appearance to be as important as comfort among younger people. School friend and amputee Amy Bosley described it as “a stroke of genius”.
Jonathan’s prototype features a removable casing system which provides protection to the prosthetic leg’s internal components.It has aluminium brackets and the casing clips on and off by hand with a quick release mechanism.
The changeable covers are attached to the casing with press studs and the quick release casing allows people to change the covers with ease by avoiding the need to bend down.
The different looks can be changed in a matter of minutes and the fabric is washable.
It will go on public display at the university’s Art and Design Degree Shows at the city site campus between 31 May and 8 June.
The 23-year-old came up with the idea for a product design project after becoming intrigued by some amputees who use wheelchairs rather than artificial legs.
Read more on this here at the BBC website >>
A group of Orthotists from around the UK have got together with a team from Nottingham University to set up a voluntary rehabilitation project in Uganda.
Algeos has been a loyal supporter of the Uganda Polio Project from day one, generously donating materials, tools and other essential items to enable the success of the trip.
Over the course of the last 2 week trip to Uganda over 500 patients were seen by the 6 Orthotists and 1 technician who gave up their time to enable the project. Uganda is one of the poorest nations on earth, disease and disability is common place, provision of healthcare is inconsistent and beyond the reach of most Ugandans. This results in those with the greatest need being left without access to healthcare or rehabilitation provision.
Along with material and tools, the team have collected used orthoses from throughout the UK. These have been packed up and shipped out to Uganda in anticipation of the clinical teams arrival in June.
This year the project has expanded to 9 clinicians and 2 technicians, with the aim of treating double the number of patients. This project is only possible thanks to our generous supporters, every penny of donations be they financial or physical consumable are used directly to support those in the greatest of need.
Full details of the project can be found at: ugandapolioproject.com
On 3rd May a team of amputees of all ages and abilities will be walking Hadrain’s Wall on the English/Scottish border under the guidance of team leader Mark O’Leary, himself an above knee amputee. We choose Hadrian’s Wall because we wanted to do something challenging, but achievable for every day amputees.
This is a week long trek. We will be walking only twelve to fifteen miles a day, which is manageable with training. We have four confirmed participants; Mark O’Leary, Mick Catlin, Helen Chapman and Andy Kneen. We are looking for everyday amputees who want to push themselves, a prosthetist and a physiotherapist to join us for this event.
If you are up for a challenge give me a call 07968760001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks – LimbPower
Returning for the second time, as part of the Technical programme at the 2013 BAPO Conference to be held at Telford International Center on Friday 22nd March 2013, is the Show and Tell. This is you opportunity to show the rest of the Technician attendees your favorite Technical tips.
This can be shown as a PowerPoint presentation, a short video or you can stand up and tells us all your tip or manufacturing technique or if you are shy you can get the session chair to give your presentation. Your presentation or video should last no more that 5 mins. You can even send along the actual product you have manufactured with a short description of how it was manufactured.
The best presentation chosen by our judges will receive a cash prize of £100.
If you any questions about this award or to register your intention to enter please send an e-mail to
A group of Orthotists and Technicians are out in Uganda at the moment setting up and running a Polo clinic. They have a blog running with pictures on Face book and you can follow the action by clicking on the following link: Uganda Polio Project
To help the project team out and make a donation please click on this link: Project Just Giving Page
I have copied this over from another O&P Forum as I believe it shows how not all Prosthetic components need to be expensive.
Hello, my name is Aden Díaz Nocera and I’m from Argentina. Here in Argentina we do not have commercial developments of upper-limb myoelectrical prosthetics, so the only way to have access to this kind of prosthesis is importing them and the prices are really high to some people. Following the idea that every people should have access to a prosthesis (or anything) that may help them, a development of a low-cost open-source upper-limb myoelectrical prosthesis has begun two and a half years ago, with the goal of share all of the technical information of this development.
During the development, a new goal came onto the workshop: to develop a Training System to train the future user of the prosthesis to have accurate control of the muscle he/she is going to use to command the prosthesis. At this time an upper-limb (over the elbow) myoelectrical prosthesis has been developed. This prosthesis (called EMP ElectroMyoProthesis) has six grades of freedom with servos: one for each finger and one for the elbow.
Also the Training System is working. This system is a software developed in LabView reads the myoelectrical signal which is already amplified and filtered, from the serial port, plot it in a graph and moves a 3D model of an arm on the screen when the signal amplitude is over an edge set by the user.
In this website: www.lifesi.com.ar you will have access to the technical information of the developments, including the code of the Training System. I hope this will be helpful. “Medicine and Bioengineering progress could be consider real achievements for Humanity only when every people have access to its benefits and stop being a privilege for minorities.” – René Favaloro (Argentinian Medical Doctor)
Aden M. Díaz Nocera
Life Integral Solutions
Algeos will be running more courses on: Wednesday 13th June 2012 10am-3.30pm and Thursday 14th June 2012 10am-3.30pm
After the huge success of our previous training days, Algeos are pleased to announce that they will be holding further in-house training on the Amfit and Elftman systems. Presentations from clinical experts Michelle Weddell, Heidi Meckler and Sara Boardman will cover the full system capabilities and advantages to you and your business.
There will also be an opportunity to tour the Algeos UK factory premises including the company’s Podiatry showroom.
We are offering this 1 day training session FREE OF CHARGE on the 13th* and 14th* of June 2012. Refreshments will be served throughout the day. Numbers are limited and as we are sure it will prove to be a popular event, we recommend you book now to secure your place. Please speak to your Algeos sale representative to confirm your attendance, or alternatively contact Michelle Howell, at email@example.com.