If you’re lucky to have two legs and two arms that work pretty well, count yourself extremely lucky. Many among us don’t have that privilege, those with missing limbs.
A big problem if you’re missing a limb is that prosthetic devices are expensive. That’s why anything that can reduce the price to within reach of the average person is going to be a great invention.
Alternatives to the traditional materials from which prosthetic limbs are made are vital. This is so that more people have access to artificial limbs to make their lives a whole lot easier.
One ingenious bioengineering student has used one of the world’s favorite toys to construct a series of prosthetic arms that work. And they’re a whole lot cheaper than the usual prosthetics. You see, David Aguilar used Lego to construct the limbs.
Actually, Lego is not ‘just’ a toy, albeit a useful toy to encourage creativity and design ability in children. It also has real-world uses.
For example, those colorful little bricks that snap together so easily have been used to build model cities, entire robots, and even working cars. Those little bricks are not just for kids.
David Aguilar was born with a rare genetic condition that left him with a partially-formed right forearm. But that didn’t stop the young David from being curious. He developed a love for creating things and at just nine years of age, he built his first robotic arm.
Improving the design
David hails from Andorra in Spain, and in spite of his disability, he continued to create improved versions of his first prosthetic arm. He doesn’t let his disability get in the way of his dreams. “As a child, I was nervous to be around other guys… but that didn’t stop me,” he said.
David has now gone viral, with over 10 million hits on his YouTube video. Posting under the name Hand Solo, in his video, he displays his colorful robotic arms. Each version is labeled with MK and a number, David’s way of celebrating the superhero Iron Man and his MK suits of armor.
Each version that David builds is better than the last, more intricate and interesting. And they’re a technological triumph for the young man.
What the future holds
Right now, David is studying bioengineering at the University at Internacional de Catalunya in Spain. He’s also working on perfecting his prosthetic limb designs and is dreaming of what life has in store for him in the future.
David is now using his fourth Lego prosthetic arm, but he’s not stopping there. He wants to make prosthetic limbs more affordable and accessible for people. He’s also the perfect person to come up with a good design seeing as he has lived his whole life with the challenge of having only one working arm.
He knows what people like him face in their daily lives, and he wants to make life easier for people like him.