Dad 3D-printed arm prosthesis for his kid, now wants to share it with the world

As much as we love writing about crazy Nerf dart-firing air cannons and 3D-printed lightsabers, sometimes you come across a use of modern technology that makes you grateful to be living when we are.

The story of baby Sol Ryan is one example. Soon after being born, Sol had to have his lower left arm amputated due to complications. While he could have waited to have a prosthetic fitted on the freely available National Health Service in the U.K., this would have involved a three-year wait and, even then, it would be a nonfunctional prosthesis for cosmetic purposes.

Fortunately, Sol’s father Ben Ryan decided to pick up the slack. After plenty of research, Ben Ryan developed a design for a 3D-printable hydraulic prosthetic arm. Far from simply cosmetic, the arm — complete with movable thumb — is able to operate both manually and with assistance from a compressed air-hydraulic pump.

Now that his son has been given a new arm (seriously, how many dad brownie points do you get for that?), Ben Ryan wants to take his invention to the next level, to help even more kids around the world. To do this he has started up a company called Ambionics, which designs and 3D prints similar hydraulic prosthetics for youngsters.

3d printed prosthesis sol ap9a3113

“At any one stage, there are around 4,000 children in the United States alone who would benefit from one of these devices,” he told Digital Trends. “In developing countries, particularly in war-torn countries, those numbers can be much higher. We need to raise funds and investments so we can bring in the expertise to really help make a difference.”

The result is an Indiegogo campaign, which aims to raise 150,000 pounds ($185,000) over the next month. This money will go on continuing research and prototyping, patents, and Food and Drug Administration approval.

There are signed photos, T-shirts and hoodies available to backers in exchange for their pledges, but ultimately this is about something a lot bigger than just crowdfunding rewards: It’s about making a difference to people’s lives.

Computing

An inside look at Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx, a revolutionary laptop processor

Six years after Microsoft’s failed foray into ARM computing with Windows RT, its second effort with Always-Connected PC is now showing early signs of success. Microsoft partner Qualcomm told us how the Snapdragon 8cx might revolutionize…
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ streamer reportedly arrested after abusing wife while on Twitch

An Australian Fortnite streamer who goes by the name MrDeathMoth abused his pregnant wife while he was live on Twitch. An anonymous cybersecurity expert took matters into his own hands, resulting in the arrest of the streamer.
Digital Trends Live

Filmmaker Justin Ching talks about empowering underrepresented voices

Justin Ching, filmmaker and founder of production studio J-school, believes it is important to empower underrepresented communities to tell their own stories. He appeared on Digital Trends Live to talk about his journey and J-school's…
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Hear the sounds of wind on Mars from InSight’s latest audio recording

NASA's InSight craft has captured the sound of the wind blowing on the surface of Mars. The audio file was picked up by the air pressure sensor and the seismometer which detected vibrations from the 10 to 15 mph winds in the area.
Features

Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

New experiment casts doubt on claims to have identified dark matter

A South Korean experiment called COSINE-100 has attempted to replicate the claims of dark matter observed by the Italian DAMA/LIBRA experiment, but has failed to replicate the observations.
Emerging Tech

White dwarf star unexpectedly emitting bright ‘supersoft’ X-rays

NASA's Chandra Observatory has discovered a white dwarf star which is emitting supersoft X-rays, calling into question the conventional wisdom about how X-rays are produced by dying stars.
Business

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Emerging Tech

Full-fledged drone delivery service set to land in remote Canadian community

Some drone delivery operations seem rather crude in their execution, but Drone Delivery Canada is building a comprehensive platform that's aiming to take drone delivery to the next level.
Emerging Tech

It’s no flying car, but the e-scooter had a huge impact on city streets in 2018

Within just a year, electric scooters have fundamentally changed how we navigate cities. From San Francisco to Paris, commuters have a new option that’s more fun than mass transit, easier than a bike, and definitely not a car.
Emerging Tech

Intel wants its fleet of drones to monitor America’s aging, unsafe bridges

Intel has signed a deal to use its Falcon 8+ drones to carry out bridge inspections. The hope is that these drones will be useful in spotting potential problems before they become serious.