Congratulations to Ph.D. student Minh Tran, student in the Bionic Engineering Laboratory with associate professor Tommaso Lenzi, for winning the 2022 ASME Student Mechanism and Robot Design Competition (SMRDC). The competition provides an opportunity for students to showcase their ability to design and build a mechanism or robot. This year, it attracted teams from universities across the U.S., as well as Europe and Asia.

The SMRDC takes place as part of the ASME 2022 International Design Engineering Technical Conference (IDETC), which focuses on emergent technologies that impact the critical engineering issues of product design, development, and manufacturing.

Tran presented the design, development, and validation of a bionic knee prosthesis that is part of his Ph.D. work in the department of mechanical engineering. The prosthesis is unique because it is very lightweight (half the weight of any other bionic knee that has been developed so far) and wearable, while still powerful and capable enough to help amputees perform all major activities of daily living.

“In the near future, I hope that the prosthesis will become a product and help people with amputations, particularly elderly individuals, to walk much longer distances and attain new levels of mobility.”

Tran will continue to work on projects furthering the development of bionic prostheses with a goal of commercialization.

“Receiving the award was a big honor,” said Tran, “especially given the high quality of submissions from other teams this year. I am very happy that my work was well-received.”

You can find out more about other finalists and winners, as well as viewing Tran’s presentation on the conference website. You can also visit the Bionic Engineering Lab website for more information on their work.