This was just too cool not to share.
When Carlos Torres started designing his IKO Creative Prosthetic System, he hoped to do more than create just another artificial limb. He wanted something that would excite kids and help combat the social isolation the disabled often suffer alongside their physical injuries. To that end, he created a functional prosthetic arm that doubles as a Lego toy-set.
I immediately thought of several advantages of this design.
- We are always searching for less pejorative words to describe handicapped => disabled => physically challenged => ??? because we don’t want to frame the situation in a way that causes any emotional harm. So isn’t it fantastic to have a solution that turns the child into a source of envy?
- Kids often stay away from people with physical challenges because they don’t know how to talk about it and can’t imagine ignoring it. This arm provides a conduit because other kids can play with the Lego blocks and it creates a link in which to frame other interaction.
- The arm can become more useful if the Legos are designed with some useful functionality in mind. I am not sure what is feasible, but considering the versatility of Lego Mindstorms (link to http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms), a lot may be possible.
- As the article focuses on, this can be a source of creative play for the child with the Lego arm.
On a side note about social media sharing – there is research that cool stuff is one of the major triggers for social sharing. It is also one of the most likely kinds of content that people respond to by commenting,
I don’t think I need any specific questions to stir up some good comments on this topic. So I will just open it up. Thoughts?
Image Credit: Alan Chia