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Case Study: Engineering and Prosthetics


Amy's Story

Amy is devasted; she's terrified that she might never be able to play netball or do many of the things she loved ever again.

Amy is a 16-year-old student who has always been passionate about sports, especially netball. However, a terrible accident during a family holiday resulted in the loss of her right arm below the elbow.

A family friend reccomended the idea of prosthetics; Amy's family decide to look into it.

Amy's family decided to explore the possibility of getting Amy a prosthetic arm. They met with a team of mechanical engineers specialising in prosthetics who explained the different options available. They discussed traditional prosthetics and modern bionic prosthetics. Whilst bionic prosthetics are still a new invention, Amy chose to try it out, eager to regain her ability to play netball.The specialists fitted her with a bionic arm that had sensors capable of detecting the electrical signals generated by her muscles. These signals were then translated into movements of the prosthetic hand and fingers.

The Powers of Modern Engineering

The Results

At first, using the bionic arm was challenging; Amy had to practice using the arm and learn how to control it effectively. The prosthetics team worked closely with her, providing training and adjustments to ensure the arm fit comfortably and responded accurately to her muscle signals.Amy's hard work paid off after several months of training and practice. The fingers could grasp objects, and the wrist could rotate just like her natural hand and wrist used to. Amy was soon back on the netball court; she had to adapt her playing style, but she was relieved to be back doing what she loves.

Now, respond to the following questions about Amy's story.

Amy's journey showcases the incredible potential of modern prosthetics, especially bionic limbs. These advanced devices are not only functional but can also enhance a person's abilities in unexpected ways. Through determination, adaptability, and the support of mechanical engineering experts, Amy was able to turn a life-changing event into an inspiring story.

  • How might technology continue to evolve to make prosthetics even more effective and user-friendly in the future?

  • What are the differences between traditional prosthetics and bionic prosthetics?

  • How does a bionic arm work to replicate the movements of a human arm?

  • Amy's story is a positive experience with prosthetics, but what challenges can come about with artificial limbs?

  • What does this case study show about the potential of prosthetic limbs to empower individuals like Amy?

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