A Friendswood teenager with Brittle Bone Disease is getting a helping hand from a robotic arm.
The device attaches to Dee Faught's electric wheelchair and he manipulates it using a Playstation game controller.
The "bionic" arm extends up to four or five feet, with a pincer "hand" that can grasp a piece of paper lying on the floor. It gives the 17-year old Friendswood High School senior the ability to perform tasks for himself – tasks that were difficult if not impossible before.
"The robotic arm helps a lot with picking up stuff off the ground," Faught told FOX 26 News, "turning off lights and turning on lights."
The arm was designed and built just for Dee Faught by students in Rice University's Bioengineering program.
The class was only supposed to last one semester. But the students stuck with the project for two years so they could see it through to the end – and deliver to Faught a functioning robotic arm.
Comparable devices available on the market can cost more than $25,000. But the Rice students built Dee Faught's robotic arm for about $800.