A group of students built a robotic hand for their 15-year-old classmate, who said the device changed his life, reports say

A yellow butterfly poised on a robot finger.
The robotic arm (not pictured) was built using online software and 3D-printing techniques.Getty Images
  • Classmates of Tennessee student Sergio Peralta, 15, built him a robotic hand, CBS News reported.

  • A teacher who had learned Peralta's hand was not fully formed told him his students could help.

  • The prosthetic that the engineering students created changed his life, Peralta said.

A 15-year-old student who was born with a hand that wasn't fully formed received a life-changing prosthetic from his fellow pupils.

Sergio Peralta told CBS News that during his first days at Hendersonville High School in Tennessee, he had felt like hiding his arm in his sleeve. However, Jeff Wilkins, a teacher at the school found out about Peralta's hand and assigned his students the task of building him a robotic one.

Peralta told the outlet he never imagined three of his classmates would come together to help build him the prosthetic. "I never expected it. Like, never in a million years," he said.

Bob Cotter, the school principal, told BBC News, a CBS partner, that the class that led to the hand's creation was designed to take the theoretical "and turn it into reality."

The three students who took up the challenge spent a month designing the prosthetic using online software and 3D-printing techniques.

One of the students told local CBS affiliate WTVF: "You're supposed to be engineering, coming up with new ideas, solving issues, and just making things better than how they used to be."

Once they finally created a model that seemed to fit, it was put to the test. Peralta caught a ball with his right hand for the first time and "everyone was freaking out," he told CBS News. "They changed my life, you know."

Hendersonville High School didn't immediately respond to a request for comment by Insider, made outside of normal working hours. Peralta could not immediately be reached for comment.

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