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Students provide a helping hand to a young woman in need

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A team of undergraduate students in the Interdisciplinary Senior Design Capstone course in the College of Engineering have designed and fabricated a robotic, prosthetic hand for a team member's sister, who had part of her hand amputated after an accident. "It was something that would improve her quality of life a lot," said Talise Lindorf. "We just really wanted to help." 
I have a sister who was in an accident two years ago and she had a partial amputation of her left hand, so she lost these four fingers. She is two years younger than me, her school and got a little delayed because of the accident. So she's finishing up her freshman year at VCU studying art. I'm in the interdisciplinary Senior Design care of Virginia Tech. It's not the typical senior design class you'd go into. You kinda have to already be on a project and got special approval for it. So my roommate Maddie, works with the check lab at Virginia Tech and career adviser, dr. L, who's the leader of the lab, wanted her to do the Senior Design inter-disciplinary class. And he said that if she could come up with a team and the project, then he'd be happy to sponsor that project for her. This being a humanoid robotics side. We thought it would be cool to build a prosthetic robotic cancer, my sister, and make it basically personalized to hurt. The other three members of my team work here in the truck Lab. Maddie and myself, I both in electrical engineering. So we have experience with all the electronics and hardware and PCBs and stuff. And then the other two guys are both in mechanical engineering. We got the project approved and so now we're in this class. It's been a cool experience so far. I actually have my sister come down to Virginia Tech from Richmond and there's a 3D scanning lab in the library. And so we took her there and they had this equipment and they scanned her hand. We're using that in Orlando model to hold our product on since we can't be with her in person very much, but also to actually use it in our cat and make the pieces that will go on her hand itself be perfectly fit to her and more comfortable that way. My dad is also an engineer and so he was interested in trying to make some sort of prosthetic hand for her before I even took this class actually. But that's kinda where that conversation with her started was actually at as a family and talking about ways we could help her. Full robotic hands are more of an available option, but since she still has her thumb, there really aren't any commercial options to go through for her. And it was something that would improve her quality of life a lot. And having some engineers in the family, we just really wanted to help. So when I brought this idea to school and now we have a lot more resources to work with and we're actually seeing a lot more progress.