Six year old Lucas Abraham, from Louisville born with Symbrachydactyly, a condition where the fingers are not fully formed, always longed for a robo arm that could help him with simple day to day activities.
University of Louisville bioengineering students after receiving a letter from Lucas’s grandmother, Julie Abraham, who sought their help, worked for months in designing and creating prototype of the hand using the open source software and 3D printers. The bionic hand uses tendon like cords that allows picking the objects when the wrist is bent. The biggest hand created for him is great for throwing a ball or holding a cup. A red and black Spiderman hand can pick up smaller things and a green hand glows in the dark and even has a flashlight. Lucas tried all the three hands last week and he said that this is the best Christmas gift he has ever received.
Lucas said, “I’m happy that I have this hand because I’ve never had a robo-hand before and now I can pick up things with this hand. It was really cool when I walked into school and everybody was like ‘whoa! Look at that hand, it’s super cool’. They wanted to do a fist pump, a high-five and shake it.”
Gina Bertocci, professor at University of Louisville, who led the project with the assistance of e-NABLE, a global volunteer group that designs and prints prosthetics, said that the 3D printing technology greatly reduces the manufacturing cost and the plastics used are similar to those in Lego blocks, allowing the devices to be produced in various colors. It takes more than 30 hours to print, 12 hours to assemble and costs less than $50 worth of materials to create one.
His parents, Rachel Abraham and Erik Abraham, were grateful to see Lucas do things which he previously could not.