Year 10 Students Creating a Bionic Arm Prosthesis for a Three Year Old
Avery was born with a limb deficiency above her left elbow and from a chance meeting at one of the College’s Open Days three Scots College Year 10 students, Locky Stinson, Liam Frampton and Ben Trolove have been working with Avery and her family to build a bionic prosthetic arm as part of their Year 10 MYP community project.
The aim of the project was to design and make an affordable 3D printed prosthesis arm that can grow with the child with the addition of extensions. With assistance from fundraising the boys have been able to extend their project adding bionic features to the arm. At this stage the arm has been designed and printed and the electronics have been tested successfully on Avery.
Financial support through donations and fundraising assists to cover the costs of materials to continue to improve limb functionality and future proof the arm with upgrades as Avery grows. With the hope to extend this for other children in the future.
While Avery is highly functional without a prosthetic, they are certain activities where an artificial limb will provide value and enrich her experiences. Riding bikes and scooters is one of those. Currently Avery will give an activity a go. When she rides her bike, she tucks the left handlebar under her little arm which significantly changes her centre of gravity and her positioning on the bike. She is currently unable to ride a scooter as she cannot do so without falling over the handlebars. She plays softball and rugby and is a normal active and happy girl, bundled up with a whole lot of sass. Prostheses are important to help reduce overuse of other limbs which can result in overuse injuries and pain as people get older.
Bionic prosthetic arms, in the current market cost around $30,000. Funding for a bionic prosthetic through the National Limb Centre isn’t available immediately and people like Avery need to go on a waitlist or provide funding themselves. The Scots College Year 10 team are working to design and build a more cost affordable option which would mean that more people would have access to this kind of technology in the future. This is an outstanding choice of project by a small team of 14–15-year-old boys from Scots College. Avery’s extended family are truly grateful for the skill and passion the boys have demonstrated and the work they are doing to help people like Avery.
Visit Locky, Liam and Ben’s website for more on their project https://www.lru.co.nz. There are options to make a donation via their website if you would like to support their initiative.
Scots College is grateful to Wellington BBQs & Fire for their kind donation of a bonfire for an auction with all funds raised going to this project.