Easton LaChappelle was 14 years old when he decided to build a fully functional hand. Bored, curious and fascinated with robotics, LaChappelle decided that making a remotely controlled robotic hand would be a fitting challenge for his passions.
Eventually LaChappelle created a rudimentary robotic hand, but it wasn’t until his 16th birthday that he began advancing his design and setting the course for his unlikely future. That’s when he bought a cheap laser cut wood 3D printer and started running it 24/7. He improved the hand’s individual finger motion and its opposable thumb. Then he moved on to the forearm, elbow and shoulder until he had a complete arm. LaChappelle entered his robotic arm in several science fairs – and that’s when his fortunes took off.
LaChappelle started talking with the girl and her parents to find out how her prosthetic arm worked. What he learned both disheartened and inspired him.