App-Controlled Three-Joint Arm

I chose to build a prosthetic arm. The simple controls via voice command or a mobile app make it a practical choice without sacrificing capability.


Isabel M.

Area of Interest

Mechanical engineering, game design and biotechnology


Bard High School Early College Queens


Rising Freshman

Demo Night

Second Milestone

Idea to Reality

First Milestone

I began by assembling the base and box. These were both simple tasks, and by far the most difficult part of this segment was attaching them to each other. I tried gluing wire as a connector and a wide variety of screws. Given the wall next to the screw, it was difficult to use most screwdrivers. In the end, I used a screw that came with the servo and normal screwdriver with the smallest head. The breadboard also lies on the base.

Next, I assembled the arm. As I mentioned in the video, the various small parts make it far more mobile. It would certainly be possible to make a more simplistic arm, but given that the purpose of my arm is to create something to make it easier for people missing full use of one or both arms, I saw no reason to streamline the design, and as such, the capability of the arm. The arm is held apart by two dividers, to maintain an even distance. On each side of the arm, there is a servo, which will allow the arm to be manipulated as is required by the user.

My final step was to add a claw, so that the user would be able to pick up small objects. This was simple to build.

From here, I will focus on the servos, which are strategically placed for full mobility. Once there is an auto-functioning arm, we will begin the shift from desktop to mobile and begin progress on the voice control.

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