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June 2015

Engineering student from Mexico is making strides in prosthesis design at Polytechnique

Luz’s project combines robotics and prosthetics. She’s working on the design of a prosthetic hand that uses modular fingers that can be operated individually or in a group, depending on the needs of the hand’s user.

Luz Anchondo Vásquez has always had an interest in helping people. She’s combining that interest with her mechatronics background, thanks to the Globalink Research Internship.

Luz first heard about the Globalink Research Internship through her university, Mexico’s Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Chihuahua. With the support of a friend who was a previous intern, Luz applied and was matched on a project with Dr. Lionel Birglen at École Polytechnique de Montréal’s Mechanical Engineering department.

Luz’s project combines robotics and prosthetics. She’s working on the design of a prosthetic hand that uses modular fingers that can be operated individually or in a group, depending on the needs of the hand’s user.

Each modular finger has one actuator, which “provides much more flexibility and freedom than other similar versions of this device,” Luz explains.

The prosthesis may eventually be used by people who have lost a hand due to injury or illness, but it could also be used for teleoperation in space with a robotic arm.

Luz is savouring her time in Montreal and is rising to the challenge of learning and exploring in both English and French, and she’s gaining valuable experience in her field. She’s especially appreciative of the diversity in her lab and among her fellow Globalink Research Interns.

My residence has students from Mexico, India, and Vietnam, so we are sharing meals and learning about each other’s food and culture.”

When asked about her favourite part of her experience in Canada, Luz was quick to praise the Montreal Grand Prix. “It was the best $100 I ever spent!” After completing her undergrad, Luz is eager to continue her research career in biomedical or mechanical engineering in Canada. “This has been the most incredible summer of my life… I would love to come back.”


Mitacs would like to thank Industry Canada, the Governments of Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan, and Le Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies. Mitacs is pleased to work with international partners to support Globalink, including Brazil’s le Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, the China Scholarship Council, Campus France, India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development, Mexico’s Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education.