According to the World Health Organization, there were over 200K new cases of leprosy reported globally in 2018. If left untreated, leprosy can cause the loss of fingers and/or portions of the palm. Today’s prosthetics are extremely capable, but far too expensive for many of those impacted.. This team, which includes USC Viterbi seniors Rachel Fellows, Kyle Krzewski, William Marzella, & Grant Sargent, worked with e-NABLE to create a low-cost, open-sourced, 3D printed prosthetic hand; therefore, organizations like e-NABLE strive to create low-cost, open-sourced, 3D-printed prosthetic hands. Because in leprosy, individuals often lose their fingers due to nerve damage but retain their palms, these hands must be oversized to accommodate large residual palms, creating a heavier, ill-proportioned prosthetic.
Using a more flexible design, the students created this prosthetic design which uses an adjustable sling to allow for more comfort and accommodate different palm geometries at a much lower cost (less than $70 on a first go around) than typical prosthetics.
Students were instructed, from concept to application, by AME Assistant Professor Charles Radovich, AME Senior Lecturer Matthew Gilpin and AME Doctoral Research Associate David Petty. Student projects were ultimately ranked based on five categories: originality, design, rigor, graphical display and verbal communications. AME faculty, industry professionals and others participated in the judging.
Said Petty: "Engineering design is a collaborative effort and effective communication is a key component taught in the course. This applies not only within each team, but with all stakeholders involved in the project."
From left to right: AME Assistant Professor Charles Radovich, Smith International Professor in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering SK Gupta and AME Senior Lecturer Matthew Gilpin.
"The fire prevention system was inspired by the Malibu fires," said AME senior David Kim. The group, which also includes Sophie Fast, Clayton Marceau and Andrew Rooney, shared a common misconception about building damage in wildfires: building loss occurs from direct flame contact. However, volatile winds that accompany wildfires can spread embers up to a mile in any direction. To combat the embers that often fall onto rooftops and end up engulfing homes in flames, the group designed an autonomous system that detects flames using a thermal camera and then targets and puts out the flames using an attached nozzle mechanism. See a video of the system in action below!
In manufacturing, normal flying shears--common industrial tools for cutting a continuous product to a set length at line speed--only work efficiently if you need the same size cut every time. If you need a different size, you either have to create multiple assembly lines or stop the machine and reset it. To improve manufacturing efficiency and lower costs, USC Viterbi students Zongyang Xiang, Brandon Vo, John Dervartanian, Zhenjun Yan created an alternate tool that allows different sizes to be cut on the same assembly line, in a continuous flow.