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Teen Born Without Right Forearm Builds His Own 'Iron Man' Inspired Prosthetic Arm Out Of Legos

Teen Born Without Right Forearm Builds His Own 'Iron Man' Inspired Prosthetic Arm Out Of Legos

A teenager from Spain has combined his love for engineering and one of his favorite toys to invent a prosthetic arm.

A teenage boy from Spain combined his love for Lego and engineering to come up with a prosthetic arm completely made out of Lego bricks. Legos widely used as toys, this may probably be the first time that someone has used Legos to come up with something so useful. 19-year-old David Aguilar was born with a genetic condition that caused him to lose his right forearm, reports Reuters

Source: YouTube
Source: YouTube

Aguilar, who studies bioengineering at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya in Spain, has made several models of it. He is already using his fourth model of the colorful prosthetic. He says that his dream is to design affordable robotic limbs for those who really need them. “As a child, I was very nervous to be in front of other guys, because I was different. But that didn’t stop me believing in my dreams,” said Aguilar. 

Source: YouTube
Source: YouTube

The teen made good use of his favorite toy and started building his first prosthetic arm at the age of 9, and never stopped since. He came up with a  lot of versions after his first one, and each had more mobility than the one before! “I wanted to ... see myself in the mirror like I see other guys, with two hands,” said Aguilar. He used the artificial arm only occasionally and is self-sufficient without it.

Source: YouTube
Source: YouTube

All the versions he's ever made are on display in his room in at his university residence. The latest models are marked MK followed by the number - a tribute to the comic book superhero Iron Man and his MK armor suits. Aguilar proudly displayed a fully functional robotic arm that he built when he was 18, from Lego pieces that his friend gave him, bending it in the elbow joint and flexing the grabber as the electric motor inside whirred.


 
 
 
 
 
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He frequently features his creations on his YouTube channel which he runs under the nickname 'Hand Solo'. He says his aim is to show people that nothing is impossible.  After graduating from the university, he said he wants to create affordable prosthetic solutions for people with disabilities. “I would try to give them a prosthetic, even if it’s for free, to make them feel like a normal person, because what is normal, right?" he exclaimed.

In other news, a 3D printed arm can cost much less than an actual prosthetic arm might. A conventional prosthetic arm might cost around $80,000. This can become a big financial hurdle for a family raising a young amputee because the prosthetic arm ideally needs to be replaced yearly as the child grows, according to Elector. A start-up company called Unlimited Tomorrow is developing a 3D printing and scanning process, which should ultimately reduce costs to around $5,000 per limb, thereby making more frequent replacements affordable.


 
 
 
 
 
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A three-year-old boy named Robert Noyes from Utah was born without a part of his left hand. According to All3DP, Robert's mother had no idea what to do about it because a prosthetic was quite expensive. Eventually, she reached out to family friend Ray Buckland, who had a 3D printer. Noyes recalls, “He was on board immediately.”


 
 
 
 
 
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Buckland was eager to help, from the start. But he had no experience printing a prosthetic before. All he knew was how to print stuff like spoons and spatulas. But Buckland took on the challenge and decided to research properly and practice with designs. Ultimately, it took him 80 hours to print the perfect prosthetic. Robert and his family were ecstatic and extremely grateful for the prosthetic arm. The cherry on top was the fact that all of it only cost them around $25. 


 
 
 
 
 
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Noyes explains that her son hasn’t stopped smiling since he put on the prosthetic. “He wants the world to know he’s got two hands,” she said. “The first thing he wants when he wakes up in the morning is his arm. And he gets disappointed when I have to take it off of him at night. It has to be where he can see it.”

“I’d seen that little boy’s look on his face when he got this, and I said that’s what it’s all about,” Buckland concludes.


 
 
 
 
 
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