Sunday, October 22, 2017 | Updated at 12:55 PM ET


8-year-old Bolivian Boy Manufactures Robotic Hand For Himself With 3D Printer

First Posted: Mar 20, 2017 10:41 PM EDT
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A Bolivian boy has reportedly built a robotic hand for himself after coming into contact with a 3D printer. The young boy, who was physically handicapped since birth, eventually discovered technology when he broke a toy.

According to News, the young boy broke a toy car when playing and after analyzing it, he was able to create a robotic hand for himself. The young boy was able to puzzle all pieces of the smashed toy together as he was able to grab the technological insight from the fragmented pieces.

The 8-year old boy Leonardo Viscarra said that the incident allowed him to be acknowledged with the small technological concepts and out of curiosity and hard work, he was able to succeed. Leonardo's right hand was unable to develop during the gestation period as his hand was caught in the placenta. This situation during the pregnancy is termed as amniotic band syndrome, causing the boy's right hand immovable.

As for now, Leonardo uses a thermoplastic band which is attached to the nylon strings. The string is able to clench the movements which are ultimately moved to the fingers. But he believes that the band comes with a drawback as it is unable to close completely during various movements.

It's not perfect, but with it, he can "hold a glass or bottle ... a variety of objects that I could not hold before," the boy maintains. However, he is still not able to perform most of the functions with his right hand.

Previously, he had a frail hand, which allowed him to continue brief movements. Later on, he was given a more advanced version, but Leonardo wasn't comfortable as it didn't fit him.

Based on further research, Leonardo learned about the first prosthetic hand, which was given to a French boy. He, then, learned more information about it and a US-based foundation that helps the manufacturing process.

The boy was able to contact the company and received a first robotic hand, but based on its excessive size, it didn't fit him well too. However, he wasn't put down by it, but he decided to manufacture another prosthetic hand by himself.

The boy was successful in drafting the blueprint of the robotic hand. It was then accepted and modified by the Sawers Robotics Institute in Cochabamba, Bolivia where the technicians helped him in technological assistance.

Leonardo was able to assemble all the pieces together. He glued them with nylon threads and cords, where it was printed through the 3D printer. The amount spend on the hand was less than $US100, however, bionic prostheses are available for $US15, 000.

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