At 14, He Vowed To Invent An Affordable Prosthetic Limb. 5 Years Later, He’s Succeeded.

Exceptional. Awe-inspiring. These are just some of the adjectives that have been used to describe Easton LaChappelle, a 19-year-old Colorado teenager whose determination and drive may change the world of robotics and prosthetics for the better.

When LaChappelle was just 14, he made his first robotic hand. He didn’t have proper equipment, so he used LEGOs and fishing wire. He didn’t have a lab, so he built his creation in his bedroom.

Later, at the 2011 Colorado state science fair, LaChappelle’s robotic hand clinched third place. But something perhaps even more significant happened at that event, forever changing the teen’s life.

In this first episode of Uproxx’s “Luminaries,” a documentary series about extraordinary people in the fields of science and technology, LaChappelle describes an unforgettable encounter with a 7-year-old girl at the fair.

“She had a prosthetic limb,” he said. “[It had] one motion — open, close — and one sensor, and just this alone was $80,000.”

Stunned by the staggering cost, LaChappelle says that he saw in this an opportunity for real change. He was determined to invent a prosthetic that was under $1,000.

He promptly got to work.

Today, LaChappelle runs his own —> Read More Here


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