Our trainee Marcin Ciesielczuk sums up his experience at LIME

Visions for a next-generation hand orthotic

Marcin was working as a trainee with us in August and did a lot of research on artificial muscles. This material responds to different stimuli and can contract or expand just as natural muscles do – and is therefore perfect for a therapy device that has to move as naturally as possible. Making use of this new material, Marcin designed a prototype of an orthotic that could become a long-term assistant for people with permanent issues in the hand. The orthotic could improve strength that is lacking in the injured hand to help the patient grab things properly.  Right now, the prototype is rather a vision of the future since there is still much research and development to do to achieve an artificial muscle that behaves exactly as human ones. Furthermore, during his time at LIME Marcin could only initiate the beginning of a whole new project. “I’m thinking about following the topic and searching for the optimal material or designing it myself.”

He would be the right person to do so! Marcin studies Material Science in at the AGH Univesity of Science and Technology in Cracow, Poland, and is about to finish his studies. In the next months, he is going to concentrate on his bachelor’s thesis and he would love to dedicate it to the development of the perfect artificial muscle.

Although most of the professional conversation was in English, Marcin also worked on his German language skills. “I chose to do an internship in Germany because I really appreciate the international environment and people’s mindset: they feel responsible for their work, keep their deadlines and accomplish things.”

Since Marcin already knew Mainz and enjoyed the atmosphere of a students’ city, he searched for an internship at the place. “The company’s subject is connected to a personal problem: I have shoulder problems and can relate to the effort it takes to get well again. LIME wants to provide devices to make patients train at home – that means not only the focus on robotics and technique but also the mission fit my own interests.” That’s how Marcin could work so passionately on his prototype: even after a long day in the office he went on searching for solutions at home.  

When asked about the working life at LIME, Marcin said: “I didn’t expect it like that! I was positively surprised. I knew it was a team of young people about my age but I would not have thought to have so much fun at work. There are no strict rules but still everybody knows when it’s time to work, to rest or to make jokes.” He also enjoyed prototyping, because of its unpredictable nature: “You design something, print it out on the 3D printer, and it turns out, and instead of the solution, you just get more questions!”

What was his greatest learning from a month working in a start-up? – “The whole company started from a students’ project. So it is a good example showing that you can achieve anything if you just really want it and work on it.”  

Do you also want to become a trainee at LIME? Currently we are searching for a Computer Sciences student!