Alex Pring was born without an arm from just above the right elbow on down, which makes it kind of hard to be just a regular six year-old kid. Insurance wouldn't pay for a prosthetic, so a group of engineering students at University of Central Florida built one for him.
The team made the device, using a 3-D printer and off-the-shelf gears and batteries, for less than $350. They have uploaded the designs and building instructions to the Internet, so anyone can download the blueprints and help another child with a missing arm.
It contains sensors that allow him to move it by flexing muscles in his upper arm; allowing him to throw a ball, pick things up, and more.
"He learned pretty fast," Manero said. "The first thing he did when he could actually control it a little bit was hug his mother."
"When he hugged me with two hands, he just didn't let go," said Alyson Pring, who thinks the arm will be a confidence booster and help Alex Pring "see future possibilities and make them seem all the more reachable."
Portland Millennials may be slackers, but not the guys at UCF. In the not-too-distant future, it may be possible to use tissue printers to build actual integrated replacements.