The winner of this year’s State Science and Engineering Fair is from South Florida, and her project can someday make life easier for the physically challenged.
"It captures the brain waves of electrochemical activity. Basically, the nerve impulse produced by the brain, and it sends it over to the robot," said Daniela Rodriguez.
Steve is an award winning robot controlled by brain waves. He was invented by 13-year-old Daniela Rodriguez, who loves math and science. “I’ve always been interested in robotics; it’s my passion,” she said.
This year, Rodriguez won first place in the Annual State Science and Engineering Fair against 900 other finalists.
Rodriguez’ goal is to help people. “If the person is disabled, they can sit in their wheelchair, and they can use their thoughts and brain waves to control its movements, so they don’t have to move,” she said.
Her science project comes from the heart. Her mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1996, and she is trying to find a way to keep her mom independent. “I work really hard to try to stay mobile, but the fact that she wants to help patients dealing with this illness is just a Godsend” said Rodriguez’ mom Jeannie.
Rodriguez’ wants to one day use her technology to help paralyzed people. Steve’s technology can even give wounded veterans the ability to use their brains to move the robot. “To help them move around in their wheelchairs or move their prosthetics because usually prosthetics now is just the muscle movement, but now it can be used and be more natural. It’s moving by your brain,” said Rodriguez.
Not only is Rodriguez winning awards, prosthetic companies have expressed interest in her program.