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Norco College, Loma Linda University students design prosthetic hand

By in Press Enterprise on November 27, 2017

By David Downey

They call it “Project Burrito.”

That sounds like it’s about food. It’s not.

Instead, the 15 aspiring engineers from Norco College are teaming up with a half dozen graduate students in the orthotics and prosthetics program at Loma Linda University to design a prosthetic hand.

The human model for the artificial-limb project that capitalizes on expertise at both institutions, the Norco students say, is a young man who has no fingers on his left hand.

“He’s a mechanic by trade,” said Dr. Gurinder Bains, an associate professor in Loma Linda University’s School of Allied Health Professions, who serves as the project coordinator.

The model met with the participating students in August when the project was getting ready to launch.

Bains said the man mentioned what artificial-hand functions would be personally beneficial to him, to give students a real-world peek into what the prosthetic-device field is all about. And one particular line made a big impression on the students.

Hot sauce

“He said, ‘I’d be happy just being able to hold a burrito,” said 17-year-old Paul Guyett of Corona, one of 15 Norco College students working on the project. “A burrito in one hand and hot sauce in the other.”

The students immediately dubbed the collaborative exercise “Project Burrito.”

  • (Right to left) STEM students Brian Lim, 20, Ceasar Navarro, 21, Paul Guyett, 17, and Edmar Ramos, 25, speak about their efforts to design a prosthetic hand at Norco College in Norco, Calif. on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. The group is teaming with Loma Linda University to design the prosthetic hand. (Photo by Rachel Luna, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

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