Health: UCF Students Develop an Electronic Arm

“I want one of these robot arms!” said 12 year old Wyatt, who lost his arm as a baby, to his mother Cynthia Falardeau. “I could ride a bike! I might even be able to paddle a kayak!” After weighing the pros and cons, Falardeau reached out to a group of students at the University of Central Florida (UCF) who were responsible for making an electronic arm for a 6-year-old child.  “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.”  Wyatt partnered with the students and after months of preparation, Wyatt traveled with his mom to UCF last week and practiced flexing his muscle to make the hand open and close. “The adoration of college students was an affirmation that money can’t buy. He was wrapped in the joy of leading and advising students on how to help children like himself,” wrote Faladreau. “Wyatt felt like he was making a difference for himself and other children.”

Contributor: Phoebe Roe

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