2-Year-Old Toddler Gets 'Magic Arms'

By Meera Dolasia on August 6, 2012

CCSS NAS-5 NCSS-7 Word Search

Two-year old Emma's life started out a little shaky - Born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, a rare disorder that affects muscle strength and limb movement, she had a hard time lifting herself. However, her condition improved as she grew older allowing her to be a normal toddler in everyway except for the fact that she could not lift her hands. Now, thanks to some amazing technology, a 3-D printer and some caring doctors, the little girl has been bestowed with what she aptly calls 'magic arms'.

Emma's life took a turn for the better when her mother attended a conference in Philadelphia where she learnt about the Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton (WREX), as assistive device created to enable people with weak arms to become more self-sufficient. Believing that the exoskeleton, which comprises of hinged metal bars and resistance bands may be just what Emma needed to become independent, she approached the inventors, Dr. Tariq Rahman and Whitney Sample at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.

Sure enough, they agreed to allow Emma to be part of the initial group of people selected to test the prototype. However, because the original version of the WREX had been designed for older kids and/or adults, it was too large and heavy for Emma.

So, the two doctors decided to create a smaller version for the little girl, one that was light enough for her to carry around. But instead of doing it the traditional way they simply sketched their exact requirements and 'printed' a custom-size ABS plastic Exoskeleton using a Stratasys 3-D printer. The best part is that the printer is extremely easy to use and so cost effective, that the doctors will be able to replace broken parts easily and also create new custom exoskeleton arms for Emma, as she grows.

Meanwhile, Emma is using her magic arms to do what every toddler loves to - Create colorful drawings with crayons, play with her dolls and build Lego castles! And she is not the only one - Currently, about 15 young kids have found a new lease to life, thanks to the amazing invention and 3-D printing technology and the numbers, can only increase - Science is truly awesome!

Resources: Huffingtonpost.com,stratasys.com

Share by EmailShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TwitterShare on tumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on PinterestShare on RedditShare on Edmodo
379 Comments
to use your custom avatar.
  • shadowchicken4
    3D is a lifesaver that is also really sad but thank you 3D printer
    • bella100
      bella1008/21/2014
      wow
      • hannbann
        hannbann8/19/2014
        so she can't see wot u write
        • hannbann
          hannbann8/19/2014
          u realise that this is just an article not a blog or facebook or anything like that
          • seary
            seary8/14/2014
            <3 Love u Emma u r soooo cute
            • seary
              seary8/14/2014
              That is amazing I wonder if she can talk
              • Person Human8/13/2014
                You know, sometimes I feel like science is the most boring subject at school. But if my teachers were to teach me this stuff, I would actually love science! (I'm saying I love this article BTW) <3 Emma
                • Magic!8/12/2014
                  Wow so inspiring!
                  • LavenderGirl8/12/2014
                    omigod i need a tissue sniff..so..sniff..cute..sniff
                    • eleele1234
                      eleele12348/12/2014
                      so cute

                      Vocabulary

                      affectsassistiveawesomebestowedexoskeletonprototyperesistancetraditional

                      Geography

                      Philadelphia, PA

                      Most Popular Articles

                      Incredible 'Tree Of 40 Fruit' Lives Up To Its Name
                      Can 'Mini-Farms' Help Solve World Hunger?
                      Incredible 'Tree Of 40 Fruit' Lives Up To Its Name
                      Our Disappearing Birds
                      Minecraft As A Mandatory Subject In School? Sweet!
                      Boo Mania Sweeps Over America (And The World)!
                      Are You Ready To 'Gangnam Style'?
                      Video Of The Week - If Frozen Was A Horror Movie . . .

                      Latest Comments

                      yoyo wrote:

                      i love it! awesome
                      Incredible 'Tree Of 40 Fruit' Li...

                      Anonymous wrote:

                      All animals should have birthdays
                      America's Favorite Giant Panda C...

                      paschalyn
                      paschalyn wrote:

                      This would be good for y presen...
                      Clever Koalas Hug Trees To Beat ...

                      paschalyn
                      paschalyn wrote:

                      Koalas are cute for sure
                      Clever Koalas Hug Trees To Beat ...

                      ALA