A coworker recently sent me a story about Easton LaChapelle. Easton is a 17-year-old student from Colorado (in the western US) who has been doing some incredible work designing advanced prosthetics.
Without telling the whole story, Easton met a young girl with an $80,000 prosthetic and immediately wondered if he could design something equally good at a lower cost. Using a combination of 3D printers, open-source part designs and SolidWorks, Easton was able to build a prosthetic hand and arm for less than $500.
His work was so impressive that he was invited to Washington DC earlier this year, where he got a chance to demonstrate his design to American president Barak Obama. President Obama was so impressed that he recommended Easton share his ideas with DARPA, and Easton is now working with NASA’s Robonaut team on telerobotics controls.
I encourage you to read the complete story on Gizmag.com, as well as watch the presentation Easton gave at a recent TEDx event. The combination of advanced design tools, additive manufacturing and crowdsourcing is powerful, with the possibility to help people in both developed and developing nations by lowering costs and barriers to access for potentially life-changing products.
Please join me in congratulating Easton on his success—I am sure this is not the last we will see of him.
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