Build a Prosthetic Arm

For this challenge, you will create an arm/prosthetic/crane/grabbing device – whatever you would like to call it – using recyclables, craft materials and/or building toys. With this device, you should be able to grab, pick up and move an object from one spot to another - like a human arm! Be creative! What is the maximum distance an object can be picked up and move to?

consider this

key terms

prosthetic: (noun) artificial body part, like an arm, leg, or heart

prototype: (noun) a first, typical or preliminary of model of something from which other forms are developed or copied

engineering: (noun) process of creating and building structures, products, and systems by using math and science

empathy: (noun) ability to understand and share the feelings of another


design a solution

generate an idea

How can you complete this task? How could you design an arm to grab, pick up, and move an object? What materials do you have that could help you make an arm? Could you design an arm to pick up different types of objects? Move to different distances?

design and build a prototype

What can you use to create your arm? What object/objects can you move? How far away can the objects be and still be moved? What features does your arm have that allow it to hold objects? What modifications can you make to improve your design and performance? What else could your arm do? Turn a doorknob? Draw? Paint?

share your idea

Film a short (Max 2 min video) pitch of your invention. Include details like who is it for, what problem does it solve, etc. Have fun! Upload/share your video to twitter, facebook or Instagram. Don't forget to tag us!

example solutions

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