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

 

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

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

Just Posted

Island community scurrying to ban rat poisons

In-house municipal ban ‘small but important first step’ to protect wildlife, Saanich councillor says

Suspicious fire quenched before reaching gunpowder in Nanaimo’s historic Bastion

Probe underway in basement blaze that erupted near where powder stored to fire signature cannons

Victoria Clipper suspends services through April 2021

International travel restrictions, COVID-19 uncertainty lead to decision

Vancouver Island family loses everything after house fire next door

Friends of Paula and Clifford Lucas are raising funds to help the young family

Fisherman snags barracuda off Vancouver Island in rare encounter

Ferocious fish, not native to Canada, was netted and released in Alberni Inlet

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Two taken to hospital after Island Highway crash near Cobble Hill

Vehicles damaged, drivers taken to hospital as incident south of Duncan temporarily snarls traffic

Owner of Langford construction company gets nine months for sexual assault

Kyle Mostowy already spent time in prison for sexually assaulting employees

Duncan model makes quarter finals in ‘Maxim’ magazine contest

Brandee Peart among top one per cent left in competition

Province announces plans for permanent supportive housing at four Nanaimo sites

B.C. ministry and City of Nanaimo partnering on 190 supportive housing units

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Most Read