Intel ISEF: Vietnamese student wins third prize with prosthetic arm

Vietnamese student Pham Quang Huy has won third prize in the robotics and intelligent machines category for a prosthetic arm designed for people with disabilities at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2017.

The Vietnamese delegation at Intel ISEF 2017
The Vietnamese delegation at Intel ISEF 2017

Huy, an 11th grader from a high school in the central province of Quang Tri, will receive a cash prize of US$1000.

The student began manufacturing the robotic arm when he was in the 10th grade and completed his product in mid-2016 at a total cost of only VND3 million (US$132).

The robotic arm is controlled by devices strapped onto the user’s legs and equipped with thermal sensors that sends out warnings when the arm touches high-temperature objects or senses potentially hazardous situations.

Prior to attending the fair in the US, Huy said he wanted to help people with disabilities in Vietnam and in his home of Quang Tri in particular who lost parts of their bodies due to explosives and accidents as well as those born with disabilities.

Huy came up with the idea in the 8th grade after watching a TV show about a robotic arm designed for people with disabilities in the US.

Among the awards presented, Vietnamese students also claimed four 4th prizes, each worth US$500, in systems software, chemistry and embedded systems categories.

Tran Thi Thu from Lam Dong province won an award for the Android app ‘Chemoscope’ that uses augmented and mixed reality to assist chemistry learners while two students from HCMC won a prize for their smartphone-compatible translating glove for the deaf and mute.

Two groups of students from Hanoi and Hai Phong won two fourth prizes respectively for their research into cancer treatment.

In addition to the five grand awards, Vietnamese students also won three special awards.

Huy’s prosthetic arm won the third prize of US$400 awarded by the IEEE Foundation while Thu’s Chemoscope app won US$5,000 from the Oracle Academy and the US$1,500 mobile application award from GoDaddy.

Mind Hand, a comprehensive solution supporting two-way communication for the deaf and mute invented by two students from a high school in Hai Phong received an honourable mention of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

Intel ISEF is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, attracting some 1,800 high school students from around the world each year to showcase their independent research and compete for US$4 million in prizes.