This Teenager Built Himself a Prosthetic Arm From LEGO

David Aguilar wants to show people that nothing is impossible even if you have a disability.

Feb 26, 2019
Special Collections: THE ABILITY IN DISABILITY

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LEGO, Disability

(YouTube/GreatBigStory)

Eighteen-year-old David Aguilar from Andorra, a tiny principality that is located in between France and Spain, was born without a right forearm due to a rare genetic condition but that has never stopped him from doing anything he wanted to do including typing on a computer with his partial arm.

Like most kids, David was LEGO obsessed and he loved building cars, boats, planes, and motorbikes.

But David also knew that he looked different and wanted to do something about it. “As a child I was very nervous to be in front of other guys, because I was different, but that didn’t stop me believing in my dreams,” David told Reuters. “I wanted to ... see myself in the mirror like I see other guys, with two hands.”

He loved LEGO so much that he wanted to make them a part of himself so, at the age of 9, he built his first prosthetic arm out of the colorful bricks. But it wasn't particularly strong or functional.

He waited until he was 18 to try again. Using LEGO pieces given to him by a friend, David built a prosthetic arm that he called the MK1, a tribute to the comic book superhero Iron Man and the MK armor suits that he wears.

"I was a normal guy, but when I built the arm everyone was like "you're awesome and really smart," David said. "They all told me that they were proud to be my friend."

This versatile prosthetic even had a way to grip items, but David wanted to keep improving his arm and he made a few more versions. His fourth and current version is a colorful red and yellow fully functional robotic arm that has a bendable elbow joint and flexible grabber was built entirely from a LEGO Technic airplane kit. There is a battery-operated motor inside that works like a bicep.

All of the MK versions are on display in David's university dorm room that is also decorated with Star Wars posters and can be seen on his YouTube channel that he runs using the name "Hand Solo." David wants to show people that nothing is impossible even if you have a disability.

David plans to create affordable prosthetics for people who need them saying, “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?”

This resourceful young man has never let his disability hold him back and his dreams are within reach of becoming a reality.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.

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