Liam Dippenaar couldn’t catch a ball with both hands. Holding two objects at once was a feat and, though right-handed, the 5-year-old used his left. Born with Ambiotic Band Syndrome, Liam lacks the instrument critical for most tasks: fingers. Thanks to two strangers halfway around the world and the magic of 3D printing, Liam is now able to color and write to his heart’s content. Ivan Owen and Richard Van As created Robohand, an open-sourced device built with customized prosthetic fingers. Owen, of Washington state, and Van As, of South Africa, collaborated via the Internet to create the prosthetic. The duo decided to make the design in the public domain to help others who can benefit from the technology. Their journey started in 2011, when Van As came across a video of Owen’s costume piece, a robotic hand built for amusement.
About Shelly Palmer
Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.