This Berkeleyan feature was written as a first-person narrative from an interview with Alberto Ibarra. By Ivan Natividad.
Excerpt: My design and manufacturing pursuits at Berkeley led me to work in life-changing projects in both the BEST Lab and Squishy Robotics, with the support of my professor, Dr. Alice Agogino. I was able to take part in designing functional, fitted prosthetic hands for the purpose of physical activities of children, performing 3D modeling and modifying existing CAD prosthetic hands.
I even got the chance to present my work at the 25th Annual National McNair Scholars Symposium.
During my internship at Squishy Robotics, I also had the rewarding opportunity to work on sensor payload robots created to help first responders, such as firefighters. Essentially, these robots are air-deployed to these highly hazardous areas in order to detect chemicals and send info to first responders to help them make life-changing decisions for themselves, and for improving situational awareness.
Currently, we are designing a mechanism that will help these robots land safely, using technology similar to a badminton shuttlecock.
All of these fulfilling experiences have motivated me to continue my studies at Berkeley as part of the mechanical engineering graduate program, where I hope to continue to find ways to help people.
Badminton-Inspired Self-Righting Tensegrity Landers
A Zhang, A Ibarra, AM Agogino – 26th AIAA Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems …, 2022View Video Presentation: https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2022-2738.vid Tensegrity
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Top Photo Caption: UC Berkeley STEM graduate Alberto Ibarra reflects on how his family, and the campus community, helped him to overcome barriers to achieve his Berkeley degree. (Photo courtesy of Alberto Ibarra)