Canadian student team smartARM has won Microsoft’s 2018 Imagine Cup for its design of a functional, robotic prosthetic hand.
Every year, the Imagine Cup brings together thousands of computer science students from around the world and challenges them to create technology that can improve everyday life.
Over 40,000 students from 200 countries took part in the Imagine Cup in 2018, the 16th year the championship has taken place.
The students making up smartARM are Hamayal Choudhry, a second-year Mechatronics Engineering Student at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Samin Khan, is a third-year Computer Science student at the University of Toronto.
Using Microsoft Azure’s computer vision, machine learning and cloud storage technology, Choudhry and Khan developed a robotic hand with a palm-embedded camera that can recognize objects and calculate the most appropriate grip for the object.
The smartARM is capable of using machine learning to improve upon repeated use, while data is stored in the cloud for easy transfer between devices.
As the winners of the Imagine Cup, smartARM will be given a mentoring session with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, $85,000 USD in cash and a $50,000 Azure grant.
Team iCry2Talk of Greece came in second place with an interface that associates a baby’s cry with a specific physiological and psychological state that can be relayed to a parent in text, image and voice format.
Third place went to Japan’s Team Mediated Ear for creating software for hearing-impaired individuals to focus on a specific speaker among a multitude of conversations.