Teen's new robotic arm based on WashU Engineering students' design

Sydney Kendall, the high-school student who received a 3D-printed prosthetic arm designed by School of Engineering & Applied Science students in May 2014 (see below), received an updated version of the arm.

Working with physicians and scientists from Washington University School of Medicine and Shriner's Hospital in St. Louis, Sydney received a new, light blue version of the 3D-printed arm. Savannah Est, a junior studying biomedical engineering and McKelvey Undergraduate Research Scholar, is a member of the team.

May 2014 biomedical engineering graduates Kendall Gretsch, Henry Lather and Kranti Peddada originally designed the prototype working with physicians from the School of Medicine's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. They used a 3D printer to create the prosthetic for about $200.

WashU students ‘print’ pink prosthetic arm for teen girl

Original story: May 8, 2014

Thirteen-year-old Sydney Kendall had one request for the Washington University in St. Louis students building her a robotic prosthetic arm: Make it pink.

Kendall Gretsch, Henry Lather and Kranti Peddada, seniors studying biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, accomplished that and more. Using a 3-D printer, they created a robotic prosthetic arm out of bright-pink plastic. Total cost: $200, a fraction of the price of standard prosthetics, which start at $6,000.

“Currently, prosthetics are very expensive, and because kids keep growing, it is too costly for them to have the latest technology,” said Sydney’s mother, Beth Kendall. “With the 3-D printer, a prosthetic can be made much less expensive. The possibilities of what can be done to improve prosthetics using this technology is very exciting.”

Sydney lost her right arm in a boating accident when she was six years old. She learned to write with her left hand, but found most tasks difficult to accomplish with her prosthetic arm. Sydney said her new arm is easy to manipulate. By moving her shoulder, she can direct the arm to throw a ball, move a computer mouse and perform other tasks.

Peddada said it was thrilling to observe Sydney use her arm.

“It really showed us the great things you can accomplish when you bridge medicine and technology,” Peddada said.

Read more in the WUSTL Newsroom.

At right: Washington University in St. Louis seniors (from left) Kranti Peddada, Kendall Gretsch and Henry Lather designed and built a robotic prosthetic arm for 13-year-old Sydney Kendall (center left).