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UC Berkeley engineers give a girl a hand

15 November 2015

Life-changing technology can often come at a price that keeps it out of reach for many people, but a project to develop a 3D-printed prosthetic hand for a child is providing engineers at UC Berkeley a chance to change that.

The mission for the researchers at the UC Berkeley based CITRIS Invention Lab is to help an 8-year-old girl who is eager to conquer the monkey bars.

That girl is Sophie, daughter to Alexa Koenig, executive director of the Human Rights Centre at UC Berkeley. Sophie was born with symbrachydactyly, a condition in which the finger bones fail to fully develop in utero. It left Sophie with four partial fingers on her left hand, hindering her ability to grip the monkey bars tightly enough to hold her body weight.

In search of a solution, Koenig connected with Chris Myers, manager of the Invention Lab, who put the call out for engineers interested in working with Sophie. Daniel Lim jumped at the chance. Lim had just earned his master’s degree from the Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership at UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering.

A full account of this project is available to read in the Autumn issue of Berkeley Engineer.

YouTube video clip embedded courtesy of Adriel Olmos/CITRIS


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