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Board 138: MAKER: Designing and Building a Prosthetic Hand for a High School Engineering Design Course

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Make It!

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Paper Authors


Seref Yagli Harmony Public School

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I have coached four different robotics clubs this school year, which are: Wex’s robotics club, FTC (First Tech Challenge) club, FRC (First Robotics Competition), and SeaPerch Underwater Robotics. My teams have won championships, as well as technical and designing awards at FLL competitions. I also began teaching Robotics and Automation and Concepts of Engineering and Technology, classes in which students learn to apply engineering and designing skills as well as robotic coding. I am a former member of Dallas Robotics Group at the Dallas Makerspace, and plan to enroll in the National Stem certification program. I have completed PLTW and Robotics and Automation certificate programs, and attended Arduino Project and Raspberry Pie. I have been a mentor for the College Readiness and Leadership Program (CRLP) with the goal of implementing student leadership in our school. In addition, I like to work with 3D printing and design, and am a member of Enabling Hand, a team that creates and assembles prosthetic arm designs.

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Sheng-Jen Hsieh Texas A&M University

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Dr. Sheng-Jen (“Tony”) Hsieh is a Professor in the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. He holds a joint appointment with the Department of Engineering Technology and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests include engineering education, cognitive task analysis, automation, robotics and control, intelligent manufacturing system design, and micro/nano manufacturing. He is also the Director of the Rockwell Automation laboratory at Texas A&M University, a state-of-the-art facility for education and research in the areas of automation, control, and automated system integration.

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This paper describes a high school-level engineering design project in which students design and build a prosthetic hand. Students use Tinkercad to modify a basic 3D hand design, print the parts using a 3D printer, and assemble the hand. They then integrate the hand with electromyography (EMG) sensors and an Arduino board. The EMG sensors detect arm muscle activation via electric potential. The Arduino board translates the EMG signals into finger movements. The final goal is successful execution of a daily-life task such as picking up a piece of paper, paper money, or a coin; holding a water bottle or a pen/pencil/paint brush; or gripping a toothbrush. The project allows students to learn about CAD, 3D printing, sensors, and Arduino programming in the context of solving a real-world problem, and helps raise their awareness of disabilities. The equipment cost for the project is less than $150 per hand assembly.

Yagli, S., & Hsieh, S. (2018, June), Board 138: MAKER: Designing and Building a Prosthetic Hand for a High School Engineering Design Course Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29936

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