by JULIA RODRIGUEZ
Students at University of Central Florida have been working extremely hard, their efforts finally paying off. A group of students have worked together and designed robotic parts, like a robotic arm, for children without real ones.
Each electronic limb takes about 30 to 50 hours to make and assemble. The students use the printer in the school’s manufacturing lab and cover the cost of materials-about $350-through donations. The team has made electronic arms for five children and are working with three more kids. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about 1,500 babies in the United States are born with upper limb deformities each year. Comprehensive statistics aren’t available for the number of children with amputations. This means that college students may be starting small with the amount of kids they are helping but soon enough, with further help from companies and donations, they will be helping hundreds of children all over the U.S.
“It’s really just a step-by-step process of solving problems. The first problem we solved was: how do we make the hand move electronically? And then: how do we attach this arm to a child?” said sophomore Tyler Petresky. “It’s just one problem after another we keep solving. That’s what engineering is all about.” Nothing is going to stop these students. They have their whole lives in front of them, and at such an early age they are already doing everything to help the world around them. Something even more shocking about these student’s efforts- instead of profiting from their designs, they have decided to upload them online for anyone to use. Now that’s an efficient and generous way of doing things.