Brick by Lego brick, teen builds his own prosthetic arm
By Pilar Suárez
SANT CUGAT, Spain (Reuters) – David Aguilar has built himself a robotic prosthetic arm using Lego pieces after being born without a right forearm due to a rare genetic condition.
Aguilar, 19, who studies bioengineering at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya in Spain, is already using his fourth model of the colorful prosthetic and his dream is to design affordable robotic limbs for those who need them.
Once his favorite toys, the plastic bricks became the building material for Aguilar’s first, still very rudimentary, artificial arm at the age of nine, and each new version had more movement capability than the one before.
“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,” Aguilar, who is from Andorra, a tiny principality between Spain and France, told Reuters.
“I wanted to … see myself in the mirror like I see other guys, with two hands,” said Aguilar, who uses the artificial arm only occasionally and is self-sufficient without it.
All the versions are on display in his room in the university residence on the outskirts of Barcelona. The latest models are marked MK followed by the number – a tribute to comic book superhero Iron Man and his MK armor suits.
Aguilar, who uses Lego pieces provided by a friend, proudly displayed a red-and-yellow, fully functional robotic arm built when he was 18, bending it in the elbow joint and flexing the grabber as the electric motor inside whirred.
A presentation video on his YouTube channel that he runs under the nickname “Hand Solo” says his aim is to show people that nothing is impossible and disability cannot stop them.
After graduating from university, he wants to create affordable prosthetic solutions for people who need them.
“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?”
(Writing by Blanca Rodriguez; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Alison Williams)
More Top Stories
A flight destined for Toronto originating from Las Vegas returned to McCarran International Airport shortly after takeoff this weekend after reports of fumes in the …read more
Ilhan Omar, 37, is not only dating, but living ‘on and off’ with her married campaign aide Tim Mynettread more
Report: AG Barr Expands Probe into Russia Investigation Origin After Finding ‘Something Significant’
U.S. Attorney General William Barr has significantly expanded a review into the origins of the Russian collusion hoax investigationread more
A former lobbyist for India’s huge job-outsourcing industry is a top candidate to take over the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).read more
Transgender Cyclist Rachel McKinnon continues to smash women’s cycling records, the latest being a “world record” in the women’s 200m sprint.read more
A tornado plowed through parts of northern Dallas late on Sunday, knocking out power to more than 175,000 homes and businesses and delaying flights at …read more