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Bali Man Builds Own Robotic Arm

26 Jan 16  | Engineering |  Technology
Semi-paralysed Man in Bali Builds His Own Robotic Arm

Wayan Sumardana, a 31-year-old welder from Bali, Indonesia, suffered a mild stroke six months ago. As he recovered, he discovered that he had lost the use of his right arm. Wayan became worried about how he would support his family, and,  determined to find a way to continue to work, turned to engineering to solve his problems.

Combining knowledge acquired during studies at a vocational school and internet research, Sumardana built himself a robotic ‘arm’ out of scrap metal, which encapsulates his own, organic, arm and apparently restores his control of the limb.

The Youtube post by Ruptly provides a translation of Wayan’s words:

“There are electrodes attached to my scalp, whose functions are to take small signals [from the head]. These signals would not be detected without wearing this device. The signal is brought forward to an enlarged signal and then taken to the micro-control in my back and transferred to the front.”

According to TheMalayMailOnline, the Bali Governor ‘was so moved by [Wayan’s] story he paid [him] a visit and donated US$3,600 so he could continue proper medical treatment’.

Some, however, as can be seen in the Youtube comments below the video, believe that the ‘bionic arm’ is fake, and that Wayan has more organic movement left to him than he suggests. What do you think?

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