17-year-old inventor creates affordable voice-controlled prosthetic arm
Prosthetics have changes lives of many amputees who can now live with far more freedom. But this advanced robotics technology doesn’t come cheap, as the final cost can seep into thousands of dollars. Obviously, everyone cannot afford to buy such prosthetics and therefore 3D printing is the logical answer to building low cost artificial limbs. Meet Nilay Mehta from Irvine High School who has made a cheap 3D printed prosthetic arm that can be voice-controlled.
The idea started with a school project and the teenager liked it so much that he wanted to make a low-cost one that would actually be helpful for the disabled. He resorted to 3D printed parts, Arduino chip and servo motors for creating the functional bit of this prosthetic. There is a microphone on this arm which registers the voice command and then performs the required action by the artificial arm.
As his interest is in making prosthetics for children who face a problem that adults don’t encounter. The problem of outgrowing the prosthetics since their body is in growth phase. Hence, Nilay made sure that his prosthetic arm had the option to replace with new fitting 3D parts for minimal costs.
Unlike other prosthetic limbs, this one is voice-controlled and customisable
Teenage inventions have always captured our imagination and give us a glimpse of what our future will be like with such bright kids taking up the mantle of responsibility. Nilay’s next aim is to take his invention to the commercial market where it can help amputees in buying cost-effective customizable prosthetic that costs well under $300.
Apparently his project has won many prizes at the Orange County Science and Engineering Fair, 2015Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, California State Science Fair and Irvine Public School District science Fair.