Srinagar teen surprises all, develops robotic arm controlled by head movements
Umaisar Gull Ganie
Srinagar, Dec 19 (KNO): In a world where bionic arms are a rarity due to their high cost and limited accessibility, Hazik Hassan Ahanger, a 12th-grade student from Gulabagh area of Srinagar, has developed a special robotic arm controlled by head movements.
Talking to news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), Hazik said since his childhood, he has been very passionate about engineering and electronic stuff.
“I learned about robotics and mechatronics in the 10th standard and was thrilled by what it can do. I wanted to do something for people with the help of robotics and at that point of time, I saw a bionic (robotic) arm and got attracted towards it,” he said, adding that “I wanted to create a bionic arm that would stand out from others so that it could reach a broader audience and help those handicapped who cannot afford a bionic arm.”
He said that the innovative project took him one-and-a-half years.
He said, “In European countries, an advanced bionic arm costs 30k$-80k$, and in India, a simple bionic arm costs a minimum of 4 lakhs. But the one I created cost me just 1300 rupees, making it ‘The Most Affordable Bionic Arm Ever Made.'”
He said the technology used in today’s bionic arm is called ‘Electromyography,’ in which it senses the movement of muscles or nerves and uses them as signals to control the bionic arm accordingly.
However, the problem with this is that if a person has any movement left in the nerves of their arm or is paralyzed, they cannot use this bionic arm. “This is where my bionic arm stands out, as it can be used by far more people. The one I created simply works on the movement of a person’s head and sends those signals to the bionic arm wirelessly, allowing them to use it even if only their head is left in their body. These movements are detected by a hairband-like device on the head received by the bionic arm, and for this reason, I named it a Gyro Arm.”
On the specifications of the Gyro Arm, Hazik said, “It is very easy to use. For example, if a person wants to close their bionic hand, they just have to tilt their head forward; to open it, they tilt their head backward from a straight position. To rotate it right or left, they simply rotate their head right or left, respectively.”
He said that the Gyro Arm features a rechargeable battery pack in both the transmitter (hairband) and receiver (GyroArm), which can be charged with any simple mobile phone adapter. On its lightweight design, Hazik said, “The best part about this arm is that we can set how much tilt our head should do for the Gyro Arm to work. In short, we can customize its movements by simply connecting it to our PC/laptop.”
The primary motivation behind these innovations, according to Hazik, is to inspire the youth of Kashmir to engage in technology and address societal issues instead of resorting to negative actions like drugs and suicides, which are unfortunately common in the region.
Hazik, coming from a middle-class family, expressed gratitude to his parents for their unwavering support. He added, “If the government supports me, I can enhance and undertake more innovative and useful projects like these, contributing to the betterment of society.”—(KNO)