Emma, the child in the video, was born with a disease that means she can’t lift her arms. Available technology helps but is too heavy for her. Looks like the equipment isn’t very mobile.
The manufacturer used 3-D printing to make parts light enough for this little girl to move her arms and mobile enough for her to go everywhere with it.
From the YouTube link:
Two-year-old Emma wanted to play with blocks, but a condition called arthrogryposis meant she couldn’t move her arms. So researchers at a Delaware hospital 3D printed a durable custom exoskeleton with the tiny, lightweight parts she needed.
When she outgrows the exoskeleton, the manufacturer prints a new one. When a part breaks (she is a child after all!), they just print a replacement and mail it to the family.
When the staff took off the exoskeleton to make some adjustments, she said “I want that.” Mom started to cry. Why?
That was the first full sentence that Emma ever spoke.
Hat tip Mark J. Perry, at Carpe Diem, who points out the revolution of 3-D printing is just getting started.