Easton LaChappelle isn’t an ordinary teenager who plays video games all weekend and talks on the phone. Instead, he is busy trying to create something that will change the world – something that will enhance people’s lives for the better. He built a robotic, LEGO prosthetic arm which won awards back in 2011. Now he’s back with version 2.0. It’s a 3D printed design that will blow your mind, and he created it all for just $250. He plans to make them for others also.
The first version of the prosthetic arm was really just a hand. This second version is a full arm. It even has muscle power since he created a servo by adding a potentiometer to a motor. According to MAKE, this version features “a combination of 3D printed parts, dental rubber bands for tendon-like spring action, nylon-coated jeweler’s wire for ligaments, a telemetric Nintendo Power Glove, and a brainwave-activated headset to control the arm’s movement.”
Easton’s goal when he started this project was to create a robotic, prosthetic arm that was fully functional yet affordable. Since he was able to do all this for only $250, it seems he reached his goal. He will soon be launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for his endeavor since he wants to create many more of these 3D printed limbs for people in the world who need a brain-powered prosthetic arm but can’t afford to buy one.
Prosthetic arms that are controlled by a spinal implant, for example, can cost $80,000. If a child needs one, that means the arm has to be replaced several times as the child grows and gets older. Suddenly the cost makes the arm an impossibility for the family. Easton will change that. This is such an inspiring story, and I will definitely keep an eye out for Easton’s Kickstarter campaign when he launches it.