Friday, February 5, 2010

Teaching Control Theory to Grade 6?

Well, not exactly. But Jacob and I did have the pleasure to visit the Bayview Glendale Prep School and introduce them to the concept of Myoelectric Prosthesis. Jacob gave a great presentation about electricity in our body and how it can be used to make artificial limbs move. We had the QNET Byomedical Board (upcoming release) on hand and used it demonstrate to the students how EMG can be used to drive a motor. Students could wrap their forearm with the electromyograph and by contracting their muscles, make a small motor move. We also had an actual prosthetic limb that was previously used by 3 year old boy.

Students also got the chance to run the QNET VTOL with a joystick. We let the students experience the difference in controlling the 1 DOF helicopter when they do it by themselves, i.e. open-loop, and when they get help from the computer, i.e. closed-loop. Although they understood that it was easier to control with the PC, we all agreed that it’s not as much fun!

In closing, this audience was full of energy and had lots of great questions. Some were more hardware-oriented and asked about the device components. Others wondered what software was used to run the systems.

Jacob and I had a great time and would like to thank everyone at Bayview Glen for their enthusiasm.

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