Republish this article
9th April 2015

Changing kids’ lives with a very modern miracle

Albert Manero was on his way to work in the engineering labs of University of Central Florida when he heard an interview about 3D printing of arms. He knew he had to do something.

Albert brought together engineers, designers and artists to develop low-cost ‘bionic arms’ for kids, tailored not only to their bodies but to their style.

Until now, most artificial arms were designed to help children blend in. The arms were flesh-coloured because it was believed that kids would rather than stand out.

Albert’s team produces arms that look like Iron Man, Transformers, dinosaurs – whatever kids want.

After young Alex got an Iron Man arm kids stopped asking him what happened to his arm; why is he different? Instead they wanted to know how get got such a cool bionic arm.

The conversation had changed.

The bionic 3D printed arm shown in the video was produced at no cost to Alex’s family. And, as an added bonus, they got someone special to deliver it.

Albert’s bionic arms are part of The Collective Project, an initiative that allows students to make a positive impact on communities.

It captures the desire to do something meaningful; to make a difference.

The Collective Project has no shortage of supporters including celebrities, academics and kids.

Neha Gupta, Winner of the International Children’s Peace Prize 2015, says the project is a call to action for young people driven to change the world.

Their work can have a “ripple effect” that touches the lives of many, inspiring others to ask themselves what they can do to help others.

Neha sums it up best: “Find a cause that touches your heart. Convert your empathy into actions and then let those actions ripple out.”

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