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Samuel Aronson & Siyuan Ma

Project Summary    
Lifting objects is a necessary task, from everyday life to manufacturing. When lifting heavy payloads or lifting frequently, stress is inflicted on the human body, leading to over 600,000 Americans injuring their backs each year (BLS, 2016). Solutions, such as forklifts, offer alternatives, but they have high costs, steep learning curves, and large size-profiles making these solutions inappropriate for use under many circumstances.

To bring power assistive lifting to more workers, a flexible system was developed from the ground up. A controller and a hydraulic lifter were engineered to simplify control, increase portability, and minimize acquisition costs. For intuitive control, the controller simulates the forces required to lift a five-kilogram object, regardless of the mass of the payload, and applies the acceleration to the larger object.

We successfully engineered a prototype to improve the accessibility of assistive lifting technologies for more workers. The system leads to safer jobs and healthier lives because it is:

  • intuitive, employing the virtual passive control model,
  • inexpensive, with a total price under $800,
  • portable, with a profile that can easily fit in the back of a sedan,
  • flexible, with multiple degrees of freedom, and
  • safe, with sensors and programmed boundaries protecting the machine and operator.
 Samuel Aronson

My name is Sam Aronson and I am in 11th grade. This is my first year participating in the Advanced Science Research program. My academic interests include Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics, and Economics. I am a Captain and lead programmer of The Stampede, Breck School's robotics team, play tennis for Breck, and participate in numerous other clubs at the school. In addition, I play tenor saxophone for the school band and have been for the past seven years. I also enjoy to read news magazines, to drive cars with manual transmissions, and to ski both on the snow and the water. 

 Siyuan Ma

My name is Siyuan Ma and am a junior. I came to U.S. when I was ten. This is my first year in the Advanced Science Research program. I love making and building. A few of my favorite studies are in the field of science and math: Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, AP Calculus, Chemistry, Physics and much more. Periodically, I dive into the field of science; recently, I am interested in material science. I am a Captain of Breck robotics team and the leader of the manipulator subteam. I enjoy music, and I have been playing piano since two and a half years old. I like to play badminton, table tennis, swim, and ski.
Honors & Awards

Samuel Aronson (2018) & Siyuan Ma (2018) worked with Dr. Perry Li. Both Samuel and Siyuan are continuing to conduct research this following year.

State Science and Engineering Fair

  • 3rd place Grand Award 
  • Minnesota State Science and Engineering Fair participants
  • Junior Science and Humanities Symposium Tri–State participants

Twin Cities Regional Science Fair

  • 3M Foundation Sponsor award
  • Top ribbon signifying qualification to the Minnesota State Science Fair Competition in March
  • Research Paper Competition Finalist signifying qualification to the North Central Tri-State Junior Science & Humanities Symposium in March