This mind-controlled prosthetic arm was built by a high school student

17-year-old Benjamin Choi has created an AI-powered and mind-controlled prosthetic arm that only costs around $300 to manufacture.

Published May 10, 2022 4:22 AM CDT   |   Updated Mon, May 30 2022 6:13 PM CDT
1 minute & 32 seconds read time

The now 17-year-old Benjamin Choi began working on the project in 2020 as a tenth-grader at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With lots of free time owing to the pandemic and inspiration from a 60 Minutes documentary on mind-controlled prostheses he watched in third grade, Choi set to work on a less-invasive version of a prosthetic arm than he had originally seen.

"I was really, really amazed at the time because this technology was so impressive. But I was also alarmed that they require this really risky open brain surgery. And they're so inaccessible, costing in the hundreds of thousands of dollars," said Choi.

The first version of the prosthetic was made using his sister's $75 3D printer and some fishing line. Each piece printed was constrained to 4.7 inches (11.9 centimeters) long, so the entire arm was printed over 30 hours in small sections that were then bolted and rubber banded together.

The arm has gone through more than 75 design iterations and is now made from engineering-grade materials while only costing around $300 to manufacture. It uses artificial intelligence to determine its movement based on brain wave input detected by two electrodes that collect electroencephalography (EEG) data.

You can read more from this story here.

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This mind-controlled prosthetic arm was built by a high school student 01
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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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