Dee Faught was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease. He's now 17 years old, and his biggest wish is to be able to reach things, so he can be more independent. A team of bioengineering students at Rice University designed a robotic arm that does the things Faught needs. It's not yet perfected, but this recent tryout shows the arm's promise.
The students, who did the bulk of their work at Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen, hope to commercialize the product, they see themselves working on it even after graduation. They are applying for grants to further develop R-ARM and hope to work with advisers at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business to devise a business plan.
Gonzalez said he is aware of commercial robotic arms that cost upward of $25,000. The students made Faught’s arm for $800. “As we start producing more, the cost could go down even further,” Nojoomi added.