When the pandemic hit, tenth grader Benjamin Choi suddenly had ample free time and decided to use his previous experience in competitive robotics to design a prosthetic arm that didn’t require invasive surgery and was more affordable than other prostheses. After more than 75 design iterations, Choi’s mind-controlled robotic arm is ready for production and only costs $300 to manufacture. While he was developing the prosthesis, a YouTube video that he posted caught the attention of Joseph Dunn, an upper-limb amputee from Pennsylvania. Choi began consulting with Dunn and other volunteers about the design. In 2021, he won funding from MIT to continue his research and work with experts at the university. “Brain wave interpretation is a really big emerging field,” he says. “I think [my algorithm] could have big applications going forward.”

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