David Aguilar is a nineteen-year-old boy who has built himself a robotic prosthetic arm by making use of LEGO pieces. He was born without a right forearm because of a genetic condition that is considered rare. He is studying bioengineering at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya in Spain, and this particular LEGO prosthetic arm is his fourth model.
His dream is to create a robotic LEGO prosthetic arm that is affordable and can be used by those who need them. His goal is not limited to only a LEGO prosthetic arm, but he intends to create robotic limbs as well.
LEGO was and remain his favorite toys. His first LEGO prosthetic arm was very rudimentary and was created by him when he was nine years old. Each subsequent version has showcased more movement capabilities as opposed to the last one. Aguilar is from Andorra – a small principality between France and Spain – and says, ‘As a child, I was very nervous about being in front of other guys because I was different, but that didn’t stop me believing in my dreams. I wanted to … see myself in the mirror like I see other guys, with two hands.’
He, however, makes use of the artificial arm only occasionally and is more than self-sufficient without the LEGO prosthetic arm. All of the versions are on display in his room in the university residence located at the outskirts of Barcelona. The latest models have been marked by MK following a number. For those who don’t get it, it is a tribute to a comic book superhero Iron Man and his MK armor suits.
Aguilar makes use of LEGO pieces that are provided by his friend. He displayed a red and yellow completely functional LEGO prosthetic arm that he built when he was eighteen years old. The arm can bend at the elbow joint and even features a grabber. He also runs a YouTube channel under the name of Hand Solo (probably spin on Hans Solo) and says that his aim is to demonstrate that nothing is impossible and disability can’t be seen as a hindrance.
Once he graduates from the university, he wants to create prosthetic solutions that are affordable. He says, ‘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?’