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EDUCATION

Move Beyond Limits with Artificial Limbs

China | 2024 Samsung Solve for Tomorrow

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In the realm of assistive technologies, the daily struggles of people with physical disabilities often go unnoticed. During a volunteer activity, Jinbang, Guanwei, and Kairan from China observed firsthand the profound discomfort caused by traditional prosthetic sockets. These devices, integral for the attachment of prosthetics, often result in allergic contact dermatitis, ulcerative cysts, and other skin diseases, leading to secondary injuries and significant discomfort.

Motivated by their observations, the team conducted research and visited the Shenzhen Disabled Persons' Federation. They met a woman who had abandoned her prosthetic leg due to heat and discomfort, opting for a heavy wheelchair instead. This encounter, along with discussions with experts and disabled individuals, highlighted the need for breathable prosthetic sockets and fueled their determination to create an intelligent idea.

Students concentrating on research

Introducing the “Intelligent Socket”

To address these challenges, students created the “Intelligent Socket”—a prosthetic socket designed to enhance comfort and usability for disabled individuals. Their idea leverages a honeycomb sandwich airway regulation structure, two-way air fans, and semiconductor refrigeration sheets to facilitate efficient heat dissipation and air circulation within the socket. Additionally, the integration of an attitude recognition module and intelligent air valve ensures real-time monitoring and control of the internal environment, significantly improving user comfort.

The “Intelligent Socket” underwent three iterations. The first focused on internal environment monitoring and temperature control. The second added a fall alarm function and power supply, adding a layer of safety for the users. The third optimized weight and space and incorporated advanced materials like nano carbon combined with copper, further enhancing thermal conductivity. These improvements have been validated through trials with actual users, receiving positive feedback from both individuals and professional medical institutions.

Recognizing the significance of such student-driven innovations, Ran Cui, CSR Senior Director at Samsung Electronics China, said, “The creativity and dedication demonstrated by these students in developing the ‘Intelligent Socket’ are truly inspiring. Through Samsung Solve for Tomorrow, we aim to empower young minds to harness the power of STEM to tackle real-world challenges. Seeing their progress and positive impact reaffirms our commitment to fostering the next generation of problem-solvers.”

Students creating their own invention ‘Intelligent Socket’

Making a More Inclusive Tomorrow

Looking ahead, the team envisions a future where the “Intelligent Socket” becomes a widely adopted idea, transforming the lives of disabled individuals globally. They aim to productize the intelligent prosthetic socket, ensuring that it is accessible to all who need it.

Their vision extends beyond merely addressing the current pain points. They aspire to create a holistic improvement in the quality of life for disabled individuals, empowering them to lead more independent and fulfilling lives. They are turning their dreams into reality and bringing about a brighter, more inclusive future for all. Show your support for their vision to enhance the quality of life and promote inclusivity for disabled individuals.

Manufacturing parts for an ‘intelligent socket’
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