Girls Scouts Help Develop Prosthetic Hand
by Jamie Frevele | 11:02 am, May 2nd, 2011
Remember Girl Scouts? Learning basic skills, some survival skills, chatting with the elderly, making s’mores? How about building prosthetics for toddlers so they can write? The Flying Monkeys, a Girl Scout troop in Iowa, have developed (with assistance) a working prosthetic hand for three-year old Danielle (pictured to the left), who was born without fingers on her right hand. She can now write better than she could with human fingers.
The project was inspired by one of the Flying Monkeys (who are aged 11 to 13) who has a limb difference. And along with a prosthetics maker and an occupational therapist, the Scouts’ robotics team came up with the BOB-1 tool, “a design that has a platform strapped to the arm as well as a cylindrical holder for writing implements or other tools.” In other news, the Boy Scouts still think their new robotics badge is “ehhh, pretty cool, I guess.”
The creation of the BOB-1 was part of the FIRST Lego League competition and part of the STEM effort to promote girls’ exposure to science, technology, and engineering. As a result of their device, the Flying Monkeys have earned an FLL Global Innovation award of up to $20,000 to patent the invention and will soon be working with Danielle’s family on a similar device for a five-year-old boy.
And if that doesn’t impress you, another team in St. Louis — competing in the FIRST championship — developed “a rear-view camera and sensor system on a wheelchair to improve visibility and navigation.”
Imagine what they could do for the space program …