The past few months have seen several stories about organizations utilizing 3D printing technology to build prosthetic arms for children with partially-developed hands and arms. This latest story will tug at your heartstrings even more, because it involves Robert Downey Jr. getting in character as Tony Stark to present an Iron Man bionic arm to 7-year-old Alex Pring.
Microsoft OneNote’s The Collective Project highlights students who are making a difference around the world—and in this case, they’re giving a signal-boost to Limbitless Solutions. Albert Manero met Alex when the former was a UCF graduate student and volunteer for e-NABLE, an international community of 3D printing enthusiasts working to provide prosthetics to children and adults in need. In 2014, Manero created Limbitless Solutions, working with Alex and another child.
Limbitless Solutions provided Alex with a bionic arm that uses electromyography to open and close his new hand. And they gave it to him free of charge!
In this video, The Collective Project brings on RDJ to present Alex with a special Iron Man bionic arm. Downey tries to play it cool and deadpan as Tony Stark, but he cracks up when they ask Alex, “Do you know who that is?” and he shyly answers, “Iron Man.”
Then they put on matching Iron Man gauntlets, fix Tony’s busted light, and fist-bump. Gah, our hearts. Watch: