Iron Man Strikes Again!

Robert Downey, Jr. and Alex Pring. (Screenshot/YouTube)
Robert Downey, Jr. and Alex Pring. (Screenshot/YouTube)

Who would think that Alex Pring, who was born with a partially developed right arm, would ever be Iron Man’s right-hand man? Iron Man actor Robert Downey, Jr. and engineer Albert Manero did.

Downey, in character as Tony Stark and introducing himself as a bionic specialist, paid a visit to the 7-year-old boy and give him an Iron Man-themed prosthetic arm.

Robert Downey Jr., in character as Tony Stark and introducing himself as a bionic specialist. Image: Screenshot/YouTube

Robert Downey Jr., in character as Tony Stark and introducing himself as a bionic specialist. (Screenshot/YouTube)

Downey presented the boy with two robotic arms, one that was an Iron Man prop, and the other being a real bionic arm.

“Why don’t we both try one on and do a progress report,” Downey asked Pring, who was smiling.

Alex Pring Image: Screenshot/YouTube

Alex Pring. (Screenshot/YouTube)

It was 3-D printed, and the bionic arm cost just $350 in materials to create.

This is a fraction of the cost of a similar bionic limb.

Someone asked Alex if he knew who Downey was, and he replied: “Iron Man.”

Watch as Robert Downey, Jr. Delivers a real bionic arm to Alex:

Once he had it on, for the very first time Alex could give his mother a two-armed bear hug, while everyone was watching on.

Albert Manero, a Fulbright scholar and mechanical engineer at the University of Central Florida, designed the arm. Manero is the founder of the volunteer group Limbitless Solutions. The group works on designing inexpensive 3-D-printed prostheses.

Robert Downey Jr and Alex Pring Image: Screenshot/YouTube

Robert Downey, Jr. and Alex Pring. (Screenshot/YouTube)

Because children’s prostheses are harder to build and the children quickly outgrow of them, Limbitless mainly caters for them.

Alex’s new limb uses electrical muscle signals to control its movement. The Limbitless team is hoping to expand into developing bionic legs and elbow joints.

 bionic limb Image: Screenshot/YouTube

Alex’s bionic arm. (Screenshot/YouTube)

The Limbitless team pooled their money together to pay for Alex’s limb. Limbs like Alex’s can cost up to $40,000. Even with the small price tag: “We were all bound to the belief that no one should profit from a child in need of an arm,” Manero said in a news release.

It’s great we are thinking of others who are less fortunate, particularly children. Well done, Iron Man!

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