- A Grade 11 pupil in Schweizer-Reneke has created a device that could help amputees
- Farida Cajee invented a mind-controlled 3D-printed prosthetic limb
- Cajee used plastic bottles littering her town to create the invention
Farida Cajee is one bright young woman - she has managed to invent a mind-controlled 3D-printed prosthetic limb using plastic bottles.
The Grade 11 learner, who hails from Schweizer-Reneke, wanted to do something to help save the earth.
"I wanted to find a solution to very visible problemss at the time my social media was filled with 'save the earth' posts and that’s when I realized my town has so many plastic PET bottles laying around," she said.
Instead of simply recycling them, Cajee used the bottles to create a genius invention that would help amputees.
"I needed to do something about it but I wasn’t sure what... then a week later I heard my mum complain about our very expensive medical aid. At first I wanted to do other things, but after extensive research, I found that below-the-elbow prosthetics are the most expensive, yet most-needed," she said.
Briefly.co.za learned Cajee used a protocycler to recycle the PET bottles and turn them into 3D printing filament, which she would then use to 3D-print the prosthetic hand.
"The hand was fitted with servos and an Arduino UNO and coded. Using an EEG headset I am able to open the hand by concentrating," she said.
She revealed that aside from hearing her mom complain about the cost of medical aids, she was inspired by war zone amputees.
"I am a proud Muslim and over the past years watching how innocent Muslims were hurt and killed and injured in wars in Syria... I thought these people are already poor and now they’re forced to live without the things they need," Cajee explained.
Her love for science began when she was just five to six years old after her mother bought her "science in a box" toys, she revealed.
As for her hopes and dreams for the future, Cajee wants her prosthesis to be produced in bulk to help South Africans - and the world - with cost-effective treatment. She revealed her product costs only R9 000, compared to the average R140 000 for a below-elbow prosthetic in Mzansi.
"Amputees around the world are also forced to live without prostheses because they can’t afford it... in SA below elbow prosthetics cost R140 000 ... I just wanted to find a way to help these people, find a way to give back," Cajee said.
Take a look at a video of Cajee's invention below:
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