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February 9, 2019

David Aguilar built his own prosthetic forearm using Lego — when he was 9 years old

Born without a right forearm due to a rare genetic condition, now 19-year-old David Aguilar built the first in a series of four increasingly sophisticated artificial limbs for himself out of Lego parts when he was nine years old.

From ABC News Australia:

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[Above: each of his four versions improved on the last, with MK IV (left) the  latest]

David 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 favourite toys, the plastic bricks became the building material for Mr. Aguilar's first, still very rudimentary, artificial arm at the age of nine, and each new version had more movement 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," he said.

He uses the artificial arm only occasionally and is self-sufficient without it, with all the versions on display in his room in his university residence on the outskirts of Barcelona.

In November 2017 Mr. Aguilar, who uses Lego pieces provided by a friend, proudly displayed a fully functional red and yellow robotic arm, built when he was 18, bending it in the elbow joint and flexing the grabber.

The latest models are marked MK followed by the number — a tribute to comic book superhero Iron Man and his MK armour suits.

The MK II was a predominantly blue model built from a Lego plane set, including a motor, while MK III was created from a set for a piece of mining equipment.

In a presentation video on his YouTube channel that he runs under the nickname Hand Solo, the Andorran said his aim was to show people nothing is impossible and disability need not 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?" he asked.

February 9, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


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