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Tongji University Team Develops Vaccination Robot Hou Yi

Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf is a law graduate and freelance journalist with a keen interest in tech reporting.

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A team led by Qi Peng, an associate professor at Tongji University, has developed a new vaccination robot equipped with a fully automatic needle-free and painless vaccine injection.

The newly developed robot is named “Hou Yi.”

The project was in collaboration with a number of technology companies, namely Feixi Technology, Beijing Kuaishuer Medical Technology, and China Cardiovascular Innovation Club (CCI), for the first time in China, based on the world’s leading three-dimensional human body model recognition algorithm and adaptive robot technology, combined with the design of mechatronics needle-free injector.

According to the team-led Qi Peng, who speaks about the automatic vaccine injection robot to Wen Wei Po, Hou Yi can automatically recognize the prescribed vaccine injection placed on the human body, such as the commonly utilized deltoid muscle in the human upper limb.

The injection procedure is broken down into three stages. Firstly, the automatic vaccine injection robot takes a photo of the human body using a simple 3D point cloud camera, quickly and automatically fits the 3D model of the relevant part of the human body quickly and automatically, and properly identifies the vaccine injection site and angle.

The seven-axis force-controlled adaptive robotic arm provides high-precision, fast-response force-control performance at the same time. The use of a high-precision force-controlled fitting algorithm can ensure that the syringe’s end fits vertically and close to the injection site, enhancing the injection effect and lowering pain.

Secondly, the medicine is pushed through a fine nozzle through a high-pressure water column by the robot’s needle-free injection component, forming a jet that penetrates the skin at a fast speed and immediately reaches the treatment location. To ensure safe use, the medicine tube is sterile for single use and destroyed after the liquid injection, as the final stage.

The present robot injection system uses pneumatic drive technology for the hospital application scenario of vaccine administration, which is appropriate for quick continuous injection. The liquid injection may be completed in half a second, and the injection precision can be 0.01mL, which can be used to meet the injection dose requirements of various vaccines.

Hou Yi also contains an injection depth adjustment mechanism that may be used with a variety of vaccines that are injected subcutaneously or intramuscularly. The better the injection effect and the less pain, the closer the syringe head is to the skin surface and the more vertical the contact angle.


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