A fifth year mechanical engineering student at Northeastern University, Orion Wilmerding designed mechanical wonder- robotic arms. Along with four other students of the university, Wilmerding designed two arms that allow the user to operate a robot remotely. As a part of the “avatar system”, the movements of the robot arm follows that of the following arm that is worn by the user. Along with this creation, there are also a series of motor and sensor arm straps.
The robotic arm is a wonder. It can also translate the feeling of touch to the user. The arm can translate what the robot feels on touching an object to the user.
“It takes over 80 hours of training to get used to performing surgery remotely, without actually being able to sense what’s going on,” Wilmerding said. “When you put on an avatar system which has haptic feedback, it’s like you’re actually there.”
With the drastic, fast-paced development in the field of technology and artificial intelligence, this system is also a boon in the medical field which will help doctors to remotely interact with patients, that is, patients who are far away from hospitals or doctors, like in disaster-affected areas and many more. The biggest benefit of the arm is its ability to operate without requiring close human contact- like in cases of defusing explosives, fire extinguishing, etc.
“It adds that level of human touch back into a robotic system,” Wilmerding said.
The students of mechanical engineering at Northeastern have been working in this multi-semester team project for the last six months. The students have been designing and prototyping a battery-powered water purification system along with some other mechanical wonders. The students also designed a machine that will help speed up the processing of cocoa pods in Nigeria and also another scanner that will help with surgeries to remove skin cancer and many other things. The creations of the students are a part of the display in the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex in Boston.