Benjamin Choi put his spare time in the pandemic to good use — by inventing an affordable mind-controlled prosthetic arm.What's more, Choi is only 17 years old and still in high school.
The prosthetic arm is controlled by an artificial intelligence algorithm that interprets the user's brain waves. "I was really inspired to make this when I watched the 60 Minutes documentary on mind-controlled prosthetics. I was really amazed by the life-changing applications of this technology," said Choi. "But I was also alarmed because current brain-controlled prosthetics, they require this really risky, open-brain surgery, and they can cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce."
Choi said his goal was to create something less invasive and more accessible."The cost of my arm is also only $300 to produce," said Choi. "I've received funding from a lot of organizations. But hopefully, I'm hoping that eventually there are more accessible prosthesis for amputees around the world."
Choi's project has earned him national recognition, and he was a finalist at this year's Regeneron Science Talent Search.