Easton LaChappelle demonstrates his prosthetic arm to President Barack Obama at the third annual White House Science Fair (Photo: The White House)
An early version of LaChappelle's hand could open and close its fingers using fishing line and servo motors
LaChappelle looked online and found animatronic hands that could be downloaded and fabricated using a 3D printer
The LaChappelle hand is strong enough to grasp a power drill or throw a ball
This version of the prosthetic costs less than US$500 dollars and is controlled using an EEG headband that measures brainwaves
A close-up of the fingers, printed on a 3D printer and refined with a chemical wash
Advanced prosthetics have come a long way in the last few years, but the costs have also skyrocketed. A cheaper alternative may be on its way thanks to Easton LaChappelle, a 17-year old high school student from Colorado, who is using free online resources and the boom in inexpensive 3D printers to develop a functional prosthetic arm and hand. His projects have already earned him an invitation to the White House, and he's now working at NASA on the Robonaut team.
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