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STEM Student Spotlight

 

Huy Huynh and Alex Juffras demonstrate robotic arm and hand at STEM Expo MassBay Engineering students Huy Huynh of Vietnam and Alex Juffras of Hopkinton, MA, worked non-stop this semester designing and creating a prosthetic hand to demonstrate at the MassBay Student STEM Expo held on December 11, 2019. The electrical engineering students used a 3-D printer in the Wellesley engineering lab to design the arm and a series of circuits to model the movements of a human arm. The hand of the arm can perform multiple human hand functions, including speaking American Sign Language.

“I have always wanted to build something that would improve people’s lives and I thought the STEM Expo was a great opportunity to get this prosthetic arm developed,” said Huy. He added, “We are really happy at the way our project has come to life. It is exciting to watch the project come together and see it functioning.”

The students spent almost every Monday and Wednesday afternoon in the engineering lab, clocking many hours to create the perfect project. Throughout the process, Huy and Alex learned SolidWorks, on their own time, to build the working prosthetic arm with the 3-D printer. They connected electrodes to their arms to measure how much energy they used to move their arms, then applied their findings to the function of the prosthetic. “We wanted to make sure the hand movements were as true to life as possible. To mimic a human hand with the prosthetic, we needed to measure our own movements to ensure the correct energy was being used for each movement,” said Alex.

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