High school students create robotic hand to help classmate in Tennessee

High school students create robotic hand to help classmate in Tennessee

Sergio, speaking to CBS, said he had never expected such kindness and creativity from his classmates “in a million years”.

Tennessee high school students created a robotic hand to help a classmate whose right hand was not fully formed, in an act of friendship which the latter hailed as 'life-changing'.

Sergio Peralta, who got admitted to Henderson high school near Nashville in the fall, always tried to cover up his right hand which was not fully formed, reported CBS News. 

“As I was growing up, like during my first years of school, I had a lot of people asked me what’s wrong with … my hand, lots of people, and I used to just say even in kindergarten, ‘I was born like that',” stated the 15-year-old Sergio. 

“In the first days of school (at Henderson), I honestly felt like hiding my hand – like nobody would ever find out," he added.

However, Sergio’s engineering teacher Jeff Wilkins learned about the boy's right hand eventually and assured him that his classmates might be able to help him.

In four weeks, the classmates designed, sized and 3D printed a prosthetic hand for Sergio, which changed his life. Sergio, for the first time, used the new prosthetic to catch a ball using his right hand.

He said that although he grew up without a fully formed right hand, he used to do “almost everything”. He added that only after getting the prosthetic, he was able to catch a ball using his right hand.

Henderson student Leslie Jaramillio said that the spirit of engineering class was embodied in the project. “You’re supposed to be engineering, coming up with new ideas, solving issues,” Jaramillo added.

High school students create robotic hand to help classmate in Tennessee
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Principal Bob Cotter, while speaking to BBC, said that Wilkins and his students faced the challenge to turn abstract concepts “into reality”. He added that the robotic hand of Sergio “is a testament to the students … who care about each other and the program that Jeff Wilkins has built”.

Sergio, speaking to CBS, said he had never expected such kindness and creativity from his classmates “in a million years”.

“I didn’t know them, so I actually got introduced to them by the teacher. And then that’s what I started working on, and I got to be friends with them. Living without a hand for 15 years and they actually offered me two is (something) actually pretty cool. No one has ever offered me this stuff – (it) changed my life," he added.

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