Teenager Developer Easton LaChappelle Grabs the Future

At age 14, Easton LaChappelle developed his initial robot hand using Lego(R) components, tubing, and electric tape. By 2013, the Colorado teen’s work with an inexpensive robot arm had landed him an internship with NASA.

So what motivated a child from small Mancos, Colorado (pop. 1,200), to enhance human anatomy? Boredom. He had really little to occupy his time, so, he says, “I was compelled … to figure out something else to do.”

Easton made use of the Web to find out programs, electronics, auto mechanics, and design, then created a robot hand. It won 3rd area at the 2011 Colorado State scientific research fair, where he satisfied a seven-year-old woman using a prosthetic hand. She had one of the most technically advanced version offered, as well as it set you back $80,000.

He made sure he might create a less costly alternative. Using a borrowed 3D printer, he assembled an arm and a hand for around $250.

When Easton offered it at the 3rd annual White Home Scientific research Fair, Head of state Obama drank the hand and recommended the teen program his job to DARPA, the government agency that aided develop the Net. Easton was chosen for a teaching fellowship at NASA, where he worked on humanoid robotics called Robonauts.

At age 17, he built a third-generation arm managed by a cordless headset that connects brainwaves to the hand. Nowadays, Easton is so well known that he offers talks prior to adult audiences and also is recognized in the 3D and also robotics globes.

His bedroom in your home is loaded with computers, 3D printers, a grinder, a drill press, a soldering terminal, and arm prototypes. Certainly, he has a video camera to catch his job and also existing it on YouTube.

Easton’s goal is to make an arm also more powerful than a human arm, one that can turn 360 levels as well as lift 200 pounds. He additionally wishes to help deaf people hear, and also to develop a robot exoskeleton to aid a paralyzed classmate walk. He claims, “This is what I’m meant to do.”

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