The most creative people on the planet? Kids! At ‘Superhero Cyborgs’, kids create their own superhero gadgets using personal wearable devices but with a beautiful difference. For these kids, the superhero gadgets are a potential alternative to their upper limb prosthetic. These are kids between the age 10-15 who have upper-limb differences, either having been born without one or having lost one.
Superhero Cyborgs is a workshop where professional designers and engineers work along with kids in Autodesk’s state-of-the-art shops to prototype their own wearable devices. The kids are taught 3D modelling, digital fabrication and 3D printing. Version 2.0 of Superhero Cyborgs took place recently in January 2016, at Autodesk's Pier 9 shops in San Francisco, CA.
Ten-year-old Jordan Reeves designed and 3D printed a cannon that fits on her upper arm. She called it ‘Project Unicorn’, and when the trigger rope is pulled, it shoots out glitter ammunition!
Thirteen-year-old Kieran Blue Coffee designed his hand and called it ‘e-Nable’. It has LED lights, and an aluminium attachment that can carry heavy loads. By letting children create their own prosthetics, Autodesk enabled customisation of the parts to the core needs, and personalise it to their dreams.
Kate Ganim is the co-founder of KidMob, the non-profit group that organised this project in partnership with California-based 3D software firm, Autodesk. This project is designed to encouraged and re-think the missing limb as an opportunity, and not a disability.
Last year, a Non-profit group called Limbitless Solutions 3D printed a fully functioning bionic prosthetic for seven-year-old Alex. The arm looked exactly like Iron man’s gauntlet, and is a part of the Limbitless’ initiative called The Collective Project. While Superhero Cyborgs is about gifting superhero arms, it allows the kids to design their own superhero powers, thus adding a ray of sunshine to their lives.
When technology does marvellous things like these, it makes the world a happier place to live in, without any catch!
Watch Robert Downey Jr., Iron Man himself, present the specially-designed arm to a happy Alex.