The Kid Should See This

Designing and building prosthetic arms with LEGO

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David Aguilar has played with LEGO since he was five years old. At age nine, he began experimenting with LEGO Technics elements as components for engineering prosthetic LEGO arms and hands. Born with Poland syndrome, a condition that prevented the formation of his right arm and pectoral muscle, the ability to build this tech toy extension left him astonished.

“It was my first time doing something like someone with both arms could do, and it was, I think, one of the coolest moments in my life,” Aguilar shares in the 2019 LEGO Rebuild the World promo video above.

“The next day of finishing the prosthetic, I went to school and spent the whole day with the prosthetic on. It was really cool because it was the first time I was proud of people looking at me constantly.”

David Aguilar
At 17, Aguilar disassembled a LEGO Technic Air Race Jet, made his first functional prosthesis, and with his parents’ encouragement, went on to win recognition, awards, and a Guinness World Record.

“As I kept building prosthetics, it became easier and easier. The first one, the mk1, I built it in one week; the mk2 was built in two days. My third model, the mk-3, was built in 10 hours, and the mk4 was built in nine hours. So, it’s like this challenge of going faster but also knowing what you are doing.

“You usually see LEGO creator sets that have maybe three or two models on the box, but as I play with LEGO every day since I’m a child, I actually see hundreds of thousands of models in the box. If you combine these possibilities with other LEGO sets, you can build something nobody’s ever seen.”

Aguilar's different LEGO prosthetic arm designs
Today, Aguilar runs a company called Hand Solo; with it, he works for the inclusion of people with disabilities, and designs LEGO prostheses for kids. In the 2021 Guinness World Records video below, he surprises 8-year-old Beknur Zhanibekuly with a new foot-controlled LEGO Technic prosthetic arm.

Aguilar with Beknur Zhanibekuly and his mother

Previously: Building a prosthetic arm with parts from a LEGO Technic Air Race Jet.

Watch more prosthetics and LEGO videos next on TKSST:
β€’Β A prosthetic system that lets kids make their own LEGO robot limbs
β€’Β How are biomedical engineers improving prosthetics?
β€’ A teen inventor demonstrates his mind-controlled prosthetic arm
β€’ Boy gets prosthetic hand made by 3-D printer

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