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Service and Healthcare
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Students Spend Summer Perfecting Robotic Arm to Help Patients
Torrid weather won't stop junior engineers from working on prosthetic arm that can literally extend the reach of the disabled.
By Judith Pfeffer - Filed Jul 10, 2014

A teen with brittle-bone disease uses the robot arm to reach an orange.

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The summertime heat and humidity for which Texas is infamous (this reporter personally managed just one year of it) can’t stop the budding roboticists at Rice University and the University of Houston.

Both schools have startup accelerators, and for the first time they —Houston’s RedLabs and Rice’s OwlSpark —are working together with joint mentor meetings and social hours towards a shared demo day next month, “Bayou Showcase.” (Houston is known as the Bayou City, founded as it was on and near a series of waterways, or what most of us would call swamps.)

The students have developed robotic arms that they hope will gain FDA approval be made commercially available for a fraction of the price of most others. This affordability and availability could mean hugely enhanced independence for children and others with mobility difficulties.

The student’s company, ProsthetiTech describes itself this way: “Our flagship product, the R-ARM, is a wheelchair mounted robotic reaching aid that allows wheelchair bound individuals to reach and manipulate objects 4.5 ft away and up to 3 lbs. More importantly, ProsthetiTech can provide this life changing technology to consumers at a price that’s over 500% cheaper than the nearest competitor.”

A demonstration is set for Aug. 14, the U of H student’s website says.

“Our flagship product, the R-ARM, is a wheelchair mounted robotic reaching aid that allows wheelchair bound individuals to reach and manipulate objects 4.5 ft away and up to 3 lbs. More importantly, ProsthetiTech can provide this life changing technology to consumers at a price that’s over 500% cheaper than the nearest competitor.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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