After breaking the Guinness World Record for the world’s first working LEGO prosthetic arm in 2017, David Aguilar, aka “Hand Solo”, has now built a LEGO prosthetic arm for an 8-year-old without limbs.
Due to Poland Syndrome, David was born without a right forearm. Being different to all the other children made him nervous, but it didn’t knock his confidence. Instead, it fueled his dreams.
“I wanted to see myself in the mirror like I see other guys, with two hands,” Davis said in an interview.
Aguilar started to design his first prosthesis arm with the materials best known to him. Nine years later, aged 18, he made the first functional prosthetic Lego arm, MK-I, using bricks from a Lego set.
“Lego was my first toy as a kid; it felt that you could build an infinite amount of things. Imagination was the only limit,” Aguilar added.
Named MK-I (Mark 1), after the suit built by comic-book hero Iron Man, the prosthetic arm’s movement was purely mechanical. However, after much refinement, David’s latest MK-V Lego prosthetic arm is motorized, with five fingers that he controls by making subtle movements of his residual arm.
MK-V carries a Spike Prime Hub – a programmable control unit capable of receiving and sending orders from sensors to motors.
“It’s the most comfortable prosthetic of my models, and I don’t need to use my muscles to lift something. The servo motors do it for me,” Aguilar claimed.
After revealing it at an event held by NASA, Charlie Wen, who founded and headed up Marvel’s Visual Development department, dubbed David “the real-life Tony Stark”.
Currently, David Aguilar studies biotechnology and aiming to develop better prostheses with innovative designs. The family of Beknur, an eight-year-old who struggles with ordinary tasks due to his undeveloped limbs, contacted Aguilar. He chose to create two for each arm after for Beknur.
The prosthetics MK-Beknur and eMK-Beknur, can pick up items on one side and utilize a tablet. Moreover, they cost only $18 (€15).
While there are 2.1 million people in the United States who have lost a limb, it’s great to see such authentic prosthetic designs built with simple yet clever engineering worldwide.