An arm for Zeke

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March 29, 2017

Zeke, a 12-year-old boy with no arms or legs, lives near MSU in Holt, Michigan. A team from MSU is working to provide a robotic arm for Zeke to make him more independent, including being able to feed himself. Photo courtesy of Lansing State Journal.

MSU is helping a 12-year-old boy with no arms or legs be more independent

For the past several years, MSU mechanical engineering professor Ranjan Mukherjee has been dedicated to trying to help a local boy who has no arms or legs. 

Zeke is 12 now and goes to Hope Middle School in Holt, Michigan.

Mukherjee is part of an team, that includes ME doctoral student Sheryl Chau and ME senior Sanders Aspelund, who are working to help the boy be more independent, including being able to feed himself. 

On March 16, the Lansing State Journal told Zeke’s story in a special feature by Kathleen Lavey. The Lansing State Journal wrote: 

“He’s always smiling,” Mukherjee said.  “Zeke was the motivation.” 

Mukherjee teamed with Mei Hua Lee, a professor of kinesiology at MSU whose research involves the development of motor skills, to pilot a system for Zeke using a vest fitted with sensors to make the arm respond to muscle movements. 

MSU's College of Engineering gave Mukherjee and Lee a seed grant to purchase a robotic arm made of composite material that is light enough to be mounted on Zeke’s chair.  This MSU video shows how Zeke’s robotic arm will work:

As they worked, they began to see more and more possibilities in the interface. 

“Now that we are making progress, we see that it could benefit a bigger group of people who have disabilities,” Mukherjee said. 

Zeke’s inspiring story is featured in the Lansing State Journal: An arm for Zeke: MSU designing robotic arm for boy with no limbs. 

The moving story has also been republished by USA Today and a number of media round the country. 

Spartans Will.



Story and photo courtesy of Lansing State Journal.