Kelly Knights and Ashlynn Steeves presenting to Keating Elementary students. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Windle)

UVic project shows Keating Elementary students a helping hand

Victoria Hand Project offers free 3D printed arms in eight countries

Intrigued after reading a book on robots and prostheses, the children of Keating Elementary’s Red Cedar Book Club asked their teacher how they could learn more.

Teacher Sarah Windle contacted the University of Victoria’s Victoria Hand Project and asked if they could come and talk to the kids.

Earlier this month, Kelly Knights and Ashlynn Steeves, two biomedical students from UVic, who work on the project, visited the school and gave a detailed presentation, giving the children the opportunity to try on some of the devices.

“The presentation was very interesting and the kids thoroughly enjoyed it,” said Windle.

“Our Red Cedar Book club students read New Hands, New Life: Robots, Prostheses and Innovation by Alex Mihaildis and were thirsty to learn more about prostheses.”

ALSO READ: $5,000 scholarship awarded to Sidney student who has overcome adversity

Knights and Steeves showed a video that was well received and then took questions.

“The kids were an awesome audience,” said Knights, adding, “they were really engaged and asked thoughtful questions. They were interested in both the patient and product side of things.”

Knights has worked with the project for over two years in different capacities and the experience she has garnered means she would like to work in prosthetic design once she graduates from UVic.

ALSO READ: North Saanich soccer sensation takes game to next level in Iceland

The Victoria Hand Project is an innovative non-profit out of the university, headed by Nick Dechev. They design functional, user-friendly prosthetic arms that sling around amputees’ shoulders like backpack straps and the hand is operated by wearers shrugging their shoulders, which opens or closes the hand.

Designed and engineered at UVic, the designs are 3D printed in the recipient’s country and a local technician, trained by the Victoria Hand Project gives instruction and aftercare to them.

All 3D printers and prostheses are supplied by the Victoria Hand Project and their sponsors, including Google and Grand Challenges Canada, free of charge.

ALSO READ: Hundreds of floating ‘Sponge Bobs’ help track ocean currents

So far, 100 people use the arms in eight different countries, often the victims of poverty, accidents and natural disasters.

The prostheses are made out of PLA plastic and can be printed on demand, keeping costs low. They are typically used by below–elbow amputees and have adjustable wrists. They come in a variety of colours to suit skin tones and can be cosmetically customized too.

Knights laughed when asked what recipients’ reactions mean to her. “They’re the greatest reactions of all time. Everything I’m learning is all worth it, helping people in the real world is awesome.”



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A Keating student looks at one of the prosthetic arms. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Windle)

Ashlynn Steeves presenting to Keating Elementary students. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Windle)

Just Posted

Royal BC Museum joins home education trend with outreach programs

Free webinar options available for RBCM@Home and kids’ programs, starting March 31

Victoria councillors propose waiving parkade fees to support essential workers

Motion coming to committee of the whole for consideration

Woman comes home to ‘entirely different’ Victoria after cruise ship, military base quarantine

Melanie Sibbitt booked herself a last-minute vacation on a cruise ship hit by COVID-19

Victoria brewery uses 3D-printer to make face shields for health care workers

Phillips Brewing is teaming up with engineers to create single-use medical equipment

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Canadian ferry operators call for inclusion in COVID-19 travel restrictions

Domestic travel restrictions should include ferries, operators say

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Most Read