David Aguilar is a 19-year-old kid studying bioengineering in Spain, and according to Reuters he’s been building versions of a prosthetic limb built from LEGO pieces since he was nine-years-old.
This guy built a prosthetic using Legos. pic.twitter.com/AKLWMsTQAx— Digital Trends (@DigitalTrends) February 20, 2020
Insider reports that Aguilar has a rare genetic condition, and was born without his right forearm. A prosthetic that can grasp objects like his prototypes general cost anywhere between $4,000 to $100,000, depending on its quality. Even on the low end, that’s an enormous cost.
“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,” Aguilar told reporters. “I wanted to … see myself in the mirror like I see other guys, with two hands.”
At this point, the prosthetics are much more than just a stand-in. Aguilar demonstrates his abilities on a YouTube channel under the name “Hand Solo.” Several of his models can open and close, pick things up, and turn and twist, run by a small motor. Every version is displayed in Aguilar’s dorm room, and he has started numbering them with the initials MK as he adjusts, referencing Iron Man and his MK armor suits.
His ultimate dream is to create affordable prosthetic solutions for people who need them. He feels so passionately about the subject, he’s even said he’d give the arms away to someone who needed one.
“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?” he asked. For his own part, Aguilar is actually self-sufficient without his prosthetic, having lived with and adjusted to his shorter arm his entire life. He uses the prosthetics occasionally but seems more interested in the ways he can help other people, which is his real superpower.