A group of Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering professors and students worked to create a Robohand for 4-year-old Hailey Dawson using the college's 3-D printer. Take a look at the months-long process in this slideshow. For more detail, read "
My Special Hand." (Photos by Aaron Mayes/UNLV Photo Services)
Hailey Dawson was born with Poland Syndrome, which affects the growth of her right hand. Hailey's mother, Yong Dawson, discovered that a 3D printer could be used to create an economical Robohand and asked the UNLV Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering for help.
The UNLV professors turned the request into a summer learning project for local college and high school students. They began by taking precise measurements of Hailey's hand.
Las Vegan Katherine Lau, an engineering student at Purdue University, joined the project during her summer break. UNLV's Stratasys Fortus 250MC 3-D printer was the project's workhorse.
Sitting still for the initial molds of her hand was a challenge for the 4-year-old. Looking on is engineering professor Brendan O'Toole. Also leading the team was Mohamed Trabia, associate dean of the college.
Once measurements and molds were completed, the UNLV team customized existing Robohand designs to better suit Hailey.
UNLV engineering student Zack Cook and Purdue University student Katherine Lau discuss some modifications that were needed on an early model during a fitting with Hailey and her mother.
The individual pieces of Hailey's special hand are held together with wire.
The Robohand grips objects as Hailey flexes her wrist.
At Hailey's final fitting in October, she practices throwing a ball.
Hailey is working with Cynthia Lau, an associate professor in occupational therapy at Touro University Nevada, to improve her skills with her new hand.
UNLV Engineering students have 4-year-old Hailey Dawson wearing Robohand