There are two kinds of innovators: the first kind are those who make something ground-breaking and sell it off at a high price; the second kind are those who make something ground-breaking and give it to the society for free. Easton LaChappelle falls in the second category.
At the age of 14, Easton had made a robotic arm in his bedroom using LEGOs and fishing wire.
But in 2011 he met a 7-year-old girl at a science fair in Colorado, which changed his life. The girl was using a prosthetic arm, which could do just two things – open and close. That device had a price tag of a whopping $80,000.
Easton Chappelle immediately decided he had to do something to make that cost bearable for all. And, by age 19, he produced a prosthetic arm for just $350 using a 3D printer.
The cost is not the only good thing about the arm. Unlike the costlier versions, this arm can do much more than just open and close.
That is not all. This arm can be mentally controlled by the user.
Are you wondering how this makes Easton fall in the second category of inventors, as I mentioned earlier?
Because Easton has uploaded the entire design and the building process on the website of his robotics start-up Unlimited Tomorrow, making it available to everyone.
There are thousands upon thousands of people losing a limb or two in accidents, wars or terrorist attacks. Easton’s arm (as we would like to call it), is not only affordable by all but also provides better functionality.
You can watch his work and his inspirational declaration to make his innovation open source in Uproxx’s series ‘Luminaries’.