August 6, 2014

White Dog and The White Dog Army
Wonderful World Wednesday

White Dog and Quinn bought me a plaque for my birthday long ago. It hangs right above my desk. On it is inscribed one of my favorite stories…I am sure you have heard it.

It is the story about the child on a beach picking up stranded starfish one-by-one and throwing them back into the ocean. He is scoffed at by an adult who comes along and points out that his task is impossible. There are hundreds of starfish stranded and the boy is told he cannot possibly make a difference to them all. The boy continues, picks up another starfish and sends it back to sea. “I may not save them all,” he tells the skeptic, “but I sure made a difference to THAT one!”

It is easy to look at all of the problems and immensity of change needed and despair that one action makes no difference. We all have those moments of doubt. But to the WDA and I the world is at its shining, most wonderful best in the stories we hear of and read where some determined, undaunted soul understands that making even one creature’s or person’s life better enriches us all and DOES make a huge difference.

This story of one such young man is of special interest to us because Steve has just procured a 3D printer for his students; it is a wondrous machine with vast potential…and apparently, in the right hands, imbued with the power to create miracles…

Engineering Student Builds 6 Year-Old A Bionic Arm Free Of Charge

Engineering student Albert Moreno at the University of Central Florida is making a six-year-old's dream of being a normal kid come true with a new bionic arm.

All of the parts were made by a 3D printer.

6-year old Alex Pring was born with only half a right arm. "He was like 2 or 3 the first time he realized. He was in preschool and they were showing him sames and differents. And he was just sitting in the car and he looked down and goes, my arms are different. And I said 'What do you mean?' And he goes, 'I don't have a hand,'" said his Mother Alyson.

And that's where their two story lines come together. Alex's mom was looking for someone she could get help from for her son and Albert was looking for someone he could give help to.

The arm works with electrodes attached to Alex's bicep. When he flexes, his hand clinches.
And after just a few fittings, he can throw a ball with the hand, and also write like any other kid.

Normal prosthetic arms can run tens of thousands of dollars, but because it was made with a 3D printer and common off the shelf gears, it cost only $350.

"We have a responsibility to do this. With these degrees in engineering... if we can't be helping people with it... then what are they worth?" said Moreno.


Angel Ginger Jasper said...

That is amazing and what a difference in price. I think that technology is moving forward so fast and also as in this case moving in the right way. Wonderful.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

This is an incredible story! Yes sometimes thing seem little - but in the end-- they can cause greatness!