Boy born without fingers fitted with Robohand
February 8, 2013 (WLS) -- A science fiction fan has turned his unusual hobby into a life changer for a little boy in South Africa.
He literally made a mechanical helping hand for a child who was born without fingers.
When he isn't selling school supplies, Ivan Owen likes making strange devices.
There's his rapid fire ping pong ball launcher out of a leaf blower and the remote control bowler hat- but it was his costume mechanical hands that caught the eye of a South African watching YouTube.
The two men, ten thousand miles apart, began collaborating.
With a 3D printer, they refined and combined the best of their designs.
A mom in South Africa saw them on Facebook and asked the men to help her 5-year-old son Liam who was born without fingers.
They fitted Liam for the device now called "Robohand."
"And he was excited by the fact that that it looked like a robot hand."
Liam is doing things never expected - picking up coins, holding a basketball.
When he bends his wrist, cables pull and his fingers closed, opening opportunities.
Ivan says he has a dozen requests for Robohands but can't afford to fulfill the orders.
And he made a request of spunky little Liam, you get a Robohand as long as you don't hit anyone with it.
The other amazing part to this story is that Liam's family could not afford a $20,000 mechanical hand.
The men made Liam's for $150.
healthbeat, sylvia perez
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