We are a group of three undergraduate bioengineers at Rice University in Houston, TX. The R-ARM was originally part of a class project, but after meeting Dee Faught, we were committed to delivering our idea. We continued improving our device for three years after the class was over.
Dee Faught, a 17 year-old boy from Friendswood, Texas, is the inspiration for and the first recipient of the R-ARM. Dee has a genetic disorder known as Osteogenisis Imperfecta (or brittle bones disease) that not only confines him to a wheelchair, but also prevents his bones from growing to a normal size and severely limits his strength.
When he met the group of bioengineering students in 2009, Dee expressed his desire to be able to perform simple tasks, like turning on the lights and picking up a bag of chips off the ground.
Since receiving the R-ARM his mobility and quality of life have drastically improved.
Although none of the obstacles in Dee's life have been able to extinguish his dreams, the R-ARM has brought him one step closer to achieving his goal of going to college in New York City and becoming a music producer.
Video by Brandon Martin, Rice University