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14 Year Old Boy Builds Affordable 3D Printed Robotic Prosthetic Arm For Less Than $500


At the age of 14, Easton LaChappelle used fishing wire, legos, and collected electronic parts to create a working robotic hand, complete with an interface that allowed him to control the device with his mind. Talk about impressive! His journey into robotics was only beginningEaston met a little girl using a limb that cost $80,000,  that he knew she’d eventually outgrow. This is the moment he knew . With the motivation received from that little girl he began to innovate a cheaper solution. At 19 Ethan combined open source designs with 3D printing to create a completely functional prosthetic arm for less than $500.

Easton LaChappelle demonstrates his prosthetic arm to President Barack Obama at the third annual White House Science Fair (Photo: The White House)
Easton LaChappelle demonstrates his prosthetic arm to President Barack Obama at the third annual White House Science Fair (Photo: The White House)

Currently Easton is working with his company Unlimited Tomorrow, Inc developing a new concept of an exoskeleton to help paraplegics walk again. They have even filled patents and are pursuing FDA approval. The company is also creating advanced open source robotic arms that can be used from prosthetics to a STEM learning platform. 

This got me thinking, what were we doing at the age 14? Either way regardless of age we begin working to help others, any time is better than no time. Faith in humanity restored!

He started a GoFundMe campaign in January 2015 to raise $10,000 for “more 3d printers, material development, manpower, and testing equipment.” As well as “getting this technology to the people who really need it.”

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