“Iron Man” Robotic Arm

by ALEENA BEIG

Staff Writer

Ironman Bionic Arm Aleena Beig

 

Robert Downey Jr. may be Iron Man in the popular Marvel superhero films, but he recently dealt in some advanced bionic technology himself. Downey presented a robotic arm to young Alex Pring, a Central Florida boy who is missing his right arm from just above his elbow. The arm was made by Limbitless Solutions, a volunteer group started by Albert Manero, a University of Central Florida engineering PhD student, to make free bionic arms for kids.

Through 3-D printing technology, Alex and others have had the chance to get a robotic arm so they can use their limbs again. Alex received his robotic arm in the summer, then later had it upgraded to resemble a “Transformers” arm.

This past Saturday March 14th, Alex received an even more impressive gift, from “Tony Stark” himself. Downey met with Alex in an Atlanta hotel room.

The actor showed the child two arms, one from Downey’s movies and one for Alex: a real, working robotic Iron Man arm. As they both tried theirs on, they compared the lights inside their palms.

The video was posted Thursday March 12th by Downey as well as Microsoft, which arranged the meeting as part of its social media campaign, The Collective Project, celebrating students using technology to change the world. It very quickly went viral on social media.

 

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