Washington Team Codes to Help People with Mobility Problems

Sofia Dessal and Kavi Rao, 2022 Broadcom Coding with Commitment Winners 

Muscle-controlled Prosthetic Hand

Sofia Dessal and Kavi Rao, 8th grade students of Jane Addams Middle School in Seattle, Washington, were presented with the 2022 Broadcom Coding with Commitment award at the Washington State Science & Engineering Fair. Sponsored by Broadcom Foundation, Broadcom Coding with Commitment recognizes students in grades 5-8 who combine STEM learning with coding to solve a community problem they care about that aligns with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. 

Sofia Dessal and Kavi Rao’s project addresses an essential need to address mobility issues for more than 3 million people in the United States with disabilities. Their project aims to assist individuals by providing a functional prosthetic that mimics the movement of real hands.  The team developed software that measures forearm muscle movement to control a Mechanical Hand.  Based on the signals provided by sensors placed on the forearm, the Mechanical Hand can securely grip and lift everyday objects. 

Sofia Dessal started coding at 9 years old by controlling Lego robots. She continued to learn and deepen her knowledge of coding languages like JavaScript and CSS. “Coding can be used to solve real problems in the world, and I am excited about how coding can be used in so many applications,” said Sofia. 

Kavi Rao was introduced to coding through books and Scratch, and started programming basic projects at 7 years old. “I use coding in everyday life to bring my ideas to life,” said Kavi.  

“We are tremendously proud of these young people who are using their coding and computational skills to improve their community,“ said Paula Golden, President of the Broadcom Foundation. “We hope they will share their passion and skills to inspire and empower other students as they go forward.“

Sofia Dessal and Kavi Rao plan on upgrading their prototype to control individual finger movements, allowing them to mimic more precise activities like writing, typing, and playing instruments.

Raspberry Pi Foundation has free resources to help anyone learn how to code. Visit the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Projects site to get started.

Stay connected with Broadcom Foundation on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram