Team behind robotic prosthetic hand wins Microsoft's Imagine Cup 2018 Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft today announced the winning team for its Imagine Cup 2018 competition, handing the first-place prize to a Candian team known as smartARM. Hailing from Canada, the student team created a robotic prosthetic hand that can recognize objects and figure out the best way to grip them.

smartARM's prosthetic pairs a camera with Microsoft Azure Computer Vision, machine learning, and cloud storage to accomplish its goal. As winners, smartARM will receive $85,000 in cash, a $50,000 Azure grant, and a mentoring session with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Aside from smartARM, this year's competition featured some other novel projects. Taking second place was a team from Greece called iCry2Talk, which developed an interface that translates a baby's cry to a specific physiological and psychological state. The result is then communicated in a text, image, and voice message. Meanwhile, a Japanese team called Mediated Ear took third place with a project aimed at helping hearing-impaired people to focus on a single speaker in an environment with multiple conversations occurring.

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This marks the sixteenth year for Microsoft's Imagine Cup competition, and it featured entries from tens of thousands of students around the world. Ultimately, following national and regional competitions, 49 teams from 33 countries competed in the world finals.

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