Engineering student builds helping hand

His passion for technology and engineering lead him to create a robotic hand exoskeleton.

The 21-year-old former mechatronic engineering student has been rewarded for his efforts by being named as a finalist in the 24th annual WAITTA Incite Awards.

�When it came to choosing a thesis project I wanted to recreate what had originally inspired me to be an engineer in the first place by recreating an exoskeleton like I had seen in Iron Man,� Mr Phan said.

�The idea just evolved from there.�

The exoskeleton is a robotic medical device 3D printed to fit the size of anyone�s hand.

Mr Phan said the main use for the exoskeleton was rehabilitating patients suffering from a hand disability.

�It aims to give patients back their independence by either training them or by proving assistive movement in everyday tasks,� he said.

�However, with continued development the potential applications for the exoskeleton can extend to military applications, performance enhancing and even augmented reality applications.�

�I truly hope that in the future this project helps to improve the quality of life of those suffering from hand disabilities.�

Mr Pham said it took copious amounts of coffee and several sleepless nights to finish his project in time.

He even spent his 21st birthday in a hospital bed working tirelessly to submit the project.

Winners will be announced on Friday, June 19.