“Iron Man” movie star Robert Downey Jr. presented a new, bionic, 3D-printed arm to a 7-year-old boy born without his right forearm, highlighting a student-led effort to create affordable prosthetics for children missing limbs.
Downey posted a video of himself Thursday as Tony Stark, giving an “Iron Man”-themed arm to superhero fan Alex Pring. The video has since gone viral, with more than 2.9 million Facebook views and 10,000 retweets.
University of Central Florida grad student Albert Manero made the arm with his volunteer group, Limbitless Solutions. The group had built a different robotic arm for Alex last year, leading to a story in Microsoft’s Collective Project, a spotlight of innovative student collaboration empowered by OneNote.
The story inspired Downey to get involved and present Alex with a new bionic arm. Designed in red and gold, it comes with Iron Man’s signature palm light. Wrote Downey on Facebook:
“Had the absolute privilege of presenting a brand spanking new 3D-printed bionic Iron Man arm to Alex, the most dapper 7-year-old I’ve ever met.”
“Special thanks to Albert Manero, OneNote, and #CollectiveProject for their work making artificial limbs like this more affordable for families with kids who want to show the playground how badass they are. Check out http://www.facebook.com/LimbitlessSolutions to learn more about this incredible project. #goodcause”
To learn more, go to The Collective Project.
By Vanessa Ho