Seven-year-old Faith Lennox has turned a tragic deformity into something seriously cool – a 3D-printed robotic hand with blue and pink fingers.
Faith helped design the hand herself, which took about a month to finish, and used her favorite colors – pink, blue, purple, and orange. In only 24 hours, its multi-colored parts popped out of a 3D printer, KTLA reported.
Lennox put it to good use the very same day: She rode her bike while her nervous parents looked on. Her father, Greg, expressed his disbelief to the station.
“It’s a very, very good day. A very emotional day.”
Faith’s new hand isn’t just cool, it’s revolutionary. Firstly, it only cost $50 to make, whereas an adult-sized prosthetic, complete with sensors, could cost up to $20,000. Secondly, as Faith grows up, she can get another hand to fit her – perhaps in different colors next time. The folks who put it together, Build It Workspace, usually print parts for oil pumps or aerial vehicles; this was their first hand.
Robo-hands like this are easy for kids to use. Faith tried out a regular prosthetic before but didn’t like it. There are no fancy sensors in the new one – she controls her new fingers simply by moving her upper arm.
When she was 9-months-old, Faith lost her hand to compartment syndrome, the Associated Press reported. As she was born, she simply got into an awkward position that deprived her left arm of blood so long it caused irreversible damage to muscle, bone, and tissue. Doctors amputated after trying to save the limb.
As she grew up, Lennox adjusted well but has suffered from back pain because her arms aren’t the same length, her mother told KTLA. But that never held her back – by 4, Lennox had taught herself to swim and now has aspirations to be a professional surfer like fellow amputee Bethany Hamilton, who lost her limb to a shark bite.
And with her new robo-hand, the sky seems to be the limit for Faith.
After riding her bike, Lennox showed how the robotic fingers also come in handy for schoolwork. She used the robo-hand to steady a piece of paper while she promptly drew a perfect rendition of her own new limb.
“Her class has been amazing. We are so blessed,” Faith’s mother, Nicole, said. “The students have been so great with her, and so loving and accepting just from day one. It’s really awesome.”
[Photo Courtesy YouTube Screengrab]