By Melissa Ford
Submitted by Bob Parks
Oak Park River Forest Robotics Club students Tom Jozefowicz, Jesse Cornman, and Luisa Vasquez have refined their myoelectric (muscle voltage), thought-controlled robotic arm that won both regional and state competitions last year. Myoelectric technology is at the heart of modern prosthetic limbs.
The team converted prototype electronics to a permanent soldered version and added a ground-breaking software algorithm that allows automatic calibration of the robotic arm to the individual residual muscle signals of the prosthetic patient. This technique enables the user of an artificial limb to calibrate it to his or her specific physiology without the need of clinical assistance, offering an opportunity to dramatically improve freedom and quality of life.
Club adviser Bob Parks commented "These students worked incredibly hard, especially this past week, including 6-10 pm every evening but one and all day both days this weekend (12 hours Saturday, 7 hours Sunday). They devoted the free time of their spring break to finish this project on time. It just made the entry deadline for the Google Science Fair competition. Their enthusiasm is infectious, and needless to say, I'm tremendously proud of them."
Let's wish them luck!